IN THIS ISSUE: Features/Interviews Editorial.............................4 A Brave New Music World................................. 33 WTF with the zombie theme? Music industry financial Interview: Sid Haig...........5 advice applicable to all Horror actor talks career
Latex and Cornflakes...35
Book Reviews.................24 Mercy Zombies of the World Homesweet Homegrown Memoir of a Mermaid Hell Cometh Fractured Time Judgement of Souls
Staff Ellen Eldridge - Editor-in-Chief
Jimmy Bower....................6 Confessions of a Special FX Artist Down drummer
Rose Riot - Director of Photography
discusses new album
Graphic Design - Katherine Tippins
Georgia Jones................08 Fretboard Autopsy........39 Fandom Fest guest author Rusty Cooley guitar DVD Riff Randall......................11 Artist Rob Sacchetto....54 RnR High School actress Zombie Portraits artist at Days of the Dead Terrance Zdunich..........13 Artist Joey DAMMIT!....57 Devilâ€™s Carnival Film Gallery of dead celebrities Maker on tour Juggling.......................21
Poet: Apryl Skies............51
An essay on inspiration Poet: Alicia Winski.........59 and the music industry Interview a Publicist....31 Tips on what bands need in press kits and what labels look for
Russell Eldridge - Music Editor Victor Schwartzman - Poetry Editor and Joseph Wilinson Contributing Writers: Daniel del Ben, Danielle Boise, Don de Leaumont, Ellen Eldridge, Russell Eldridge, David Feltman, Heidi Ellen Robinson-Fitzgerald, James Hester, G.L. Giles, Jerel Johnson, Gia Lee, Kenneth Love, Lucas McPherson, James Moore, Glen Naylor, Victor Schwartzman, E.T., Joseph Wilkinson, Caroline Wuertz
Contributing Artists/Photographers: Danielle Boise, Ken Lackner, Rose Riot, E.T., Joseph Wilkinson, Joey DAMMIT!, Rob Sacchetto, and more live photos on our website Interested in contributing? Ellen@targetaudiencemagazine.com
Album Reviews................40 Alabama Shakes, The Mars Volta, Kevn Kinney, Lords of Acid, Stellar Revival, Shinedown, High On Fire, Halestorm, Monks Of Mellonwah, Prong,
An Editorial on the Spring Issue Zombie Theme by Ellen Eldridge, EIC
Why is the Spring 2012 issue themed at all, and why zombies?
The simple answer is that it just seemed to work out that way. The more artisitc content - book reviews, featured artists, photography - that came in revolving around the theme just made me think to myself, “Hey! Why not just schedule it all for the spring issue and theme it zombies?” So, that is what I did despite the fact that not every artist represented in this issue fits the theme, and regardless of the fact that no future themes are planned.
Featured artist Rob Sacchetto created a zombie portrait of me to use in this issue, showcasing his disturbing talent. I sincerely hope that all artists take a minute to think about the themes in art that seem to be timeless. The end of the Mayan calendar is but one excuse for the surge in zombie art. Television has been capitalizing on the theme lately as well. It’s sort of like an early Halloween, and what artist doesn’t love the open creativity available for all on Halloween? Enjoy the issue and if you have ideas for appropriate themes in the future just let me know at: email@example.com
Zombie Portrait of Ellen Eldridge created by Rob Sacchetto Feature on page 54 Original photo by Rose Riot SPRING 2012 ISSUE
13 Minutes with
Sid Haig Interview on Past, Present and Future Career Goals By Ellen Eldridge
day night at the opening of the Days of the Dead convention, I spent all day Saturday researching his work for the Sunday morning interview. Of course, I did take a small break to attend the opening of the “Fear and Loathing in Atlanta” art show at the ABV Gallery Saturday night. That’s where I got the shirt, designed by Aaron Crawford, that I wore in the interview. Sid Haig said he liked it. Anyone who cares to spend a few hours watching interviews with Sid Haig and reading his bios on websites like IMDB and SidHaig.com can easily find out that he got his start in show business as a child dancer. He started acting in high school, attended the Pasadena Playhouse school and earned roles in Jack Hill’s movies – starting with Hill’s student film while Hill was enrolled at UCLA. What most earned my attention and admiration in his bio was that he chose to walk away – not quit – the business because he felt he deserved better character roles than “stupid heavies.” I asked Haig what he would advise himself at a younger age and he said “Don’t get type-cast.” His impressive career includes a serious run for President in 2008 that he discusses on camera and receipt of both the Universal Eyegore Award for lifetime achievement and the prestigious Premi Maria Honorifica at the Sitges International Film Festival in 2010. Haig tells Target Audience Magazine that he has many characters left to play and no desire to retire anytime soon.In fact, he talks a bit about his role in Rob Zombie’s newest film, “The Lords of Salem,” and tells us a bit about how Zombie makes his movies.
Meeting Sid Haig single-handedly changed the incredibly sketchy perspective I had on cons (enjoy the double entendre). The initial impact of stolid celebrities sitting at tables trying to lure customers in for a paid autograph really grabbed me the wrong way – so did Gary Busey, but that is another story that Rose Riot can tell better. I just felt I would rather find a way to earn the right to interact with people through mutual respect and intellectual equality. Then again, I’m not particularly inspired by actors. I appreciate the medium and I have been inspired by films, but my interest in actors has always triggered my interest in psychology – wanting to figure people out. After Haig agreed to do an interview with me Fri5
I love Rob Zombie’s vision, his artistic integrity and his ability to write characters. What Zombie did with his remake of “Halloween” gave me so much more respect than I’d already had for a talented painter, musician and writer. His combination of talents, ability to cross-promote himself through different mediums of expression and his passion to keep pushing forward makes me admire Zombie even though I’m not particularly interested in horror films or the genre’s history. I don’t sit around watching “The Devil’s Rejects,” but I enjoyed its gritty realism and brutal honesty. Analyzing the characters and thinking about the perspective a writer must take to create scenes where psychos wear another person’s face makes me question how comfortable I would be in a room with Rob Zombie or Stephen King. I asked Haig what he thought of character actors and the way acting affects people, especially children actors.
Down Drummer Talks Down IV and Rock on the Range On February 10 at 1:00 p.m., I was fortunate to talk with legendary NOLA metal musician and current Down drummer, Jimmy Bower. Down finished mixing its fourth record the previous night, and Jimmy was happy to give me the skinny on how the record sounded and the concept of the record. The new record is scheduled for a May release, coinciding with the band’s performance at Rock on the Range in Columbus, Ohio. It was obvious from our chat that metal heads will not be disappointed with the record.
Any songs similar to “Stone the wasn’t an album title or anyCrow” or “Jail” or is it pretty thing. The artwork looks great. much an all-out blitz? JB: No, the idea is we’re doing four EPs and the first one is pretty much cut-throat. The third one is supposed to be the acoustic one. But we’re releasing four EPs within the next year and a half. They all coincide with one theme. Like the artwork and everything. It’s like a big story.
Interview with Jimmy Bower by Jerel Johnson
What’s the picture of? What’s the cover? JB: I’m not gonna say anything man. Pepper usually does all the artwork; he does a really good job. Pepper
JB: Yeah, he does all the artwork for Down. I didn’t know that and I’m a COC fan. JB: He did all the artwork for those records he was on as well. From Blind on? That’s excellent. So how have the shows been?
When’s the new Down record coming out?
Jim Bower: We finished JB: They’ve been good. last night (February 9 We haven’t been playat time of interview) ing much. We’ve been with the mixing and pretty much busy with everything. So, all we the recording process. have to do now is get it But we have a festival mastered and the artin Ohio (Rock On The work is all done. So I Range) and we’re gothink maybe early May. ing to do a couple of It takes a while to get shows around that. everything together; it We’re pretty much waitLike a concept record? took us a little longer with the reing for the release so we can get out cording process so it’s done. We fin- JB: Exactly. A concept with 4 EPs. and start working a little harder. ished it last night. It sounds killer. What’s the theme? Is there a When the new record comes What does it sound like com- back story? out, are you going to do pared to your previous albums? JB: No. Well, it’s kind of like end a national or world tour? JB: We went for a really raw sound of the world kind of shit. Just JB: Yeah. Probably start in the U.S. and went back to NOLA. The songs the times we’re in. it reflects on and work our way to Europe, and are really Sabbathed-out. I’m really how humanity is going apeshit. hopefully go to Japan and Australia, happy the way it came out. It’s really As far as concepts I don’t know. and hopefully back to South America. aggressive and raw. All them rock n’ What’s the name of the record? You have fun in South America? roll adjectives in there bro. It’s doomy! JB: Down IV, I think. I saw JB: We went to South America in the artwork last night. There November and it was really cool.
SPRING 2012 ISSUE
We’d never been down there be- more excited about it than Over the fore and we were received really Under. Over the Under was a great well and it’s a great place to tour. record, but I think the production Now the band formed in ’91-’92? was a little too much, and this takes us back to the raw roots and the JB: Right. songs are good. But “Witchtripper” Phil was in Pantera, you did is my favorite one. We were in Spain some work with Eyehategod for a festival, and walking around and Pepper was in COC. When and we kept seeing rocks on peoples’ you released NOLA, it was an doors. We were like “dude it must be underground sensation. I be- to trip a witch.” At first, it seemed lieve it went gold on word of kind of silly, but once we wrote the mouth alone. How has the song and lyrics — Philip wrote the metal scene changed regard- lyrics — it was really cool. Hopeing popularity? How would fully, we’ll make a video for it too. you compare it now to then? In regards to the music indus-
You mentioned underground. Are there any southern bands that you are vibing on at the moment?
JB: From Arkansas you have Rwake. Weedeater is really good. The new Orange Goblin is really good; they’re from England. There’s a band from New Orleans called Mountain of Wizard. They sound like metal meets Boston. They’re really cool; they don’t have any vocals. We’re doing a show tonight with Eyehategod, and a new band called Black Witchgod playing. The drummer was from a New Orleans band JB: Then, it was really kind of fresh. try how has it changed in the called Graveyard Rodeo from the We weren’t doing too much from past 20 years? Has it been bet- 80s. There’s Soilent Green, Outlaw what Soundgarden was doing. That ter to you or since Down is a Order. These are all with friends I was a big influence back then, and metal band have you guys been know. It’s just I don’t get out of New all the Witchfinder stuff. It seems like able to find your own niche? Orleans unless I go play somewhere. the people are a little more open to JB: Well, the older you get, the wiser What are your top five favorthis genre music, but to me Down is you grow about the industry. When ite metal records of all time? a rock band. Rock music has been you’re really young they try to take around for ever and kind of put advantage of you. They did me, but JB: Captain Beyond: Captian Beoff to the side into metal. I think now, being a lot more educated yond, Pentagram: Relentless, Black Down; people accept it more as a about how things are done, I think it’s Sabbath: Black Sabbath and Volrock band, not just a metal band. gotten back to the whole DIY thing, ume 4. And Witchfinder General. Back in ’91 it was really fresh to us. at least for the underground. It’s just What advice would you give Where was Down IV produced? a lot easier for bands to put their to younger bands trying to make it in this industry? JB: It was recorded at the Lair stuff out which is a good thing or a again (Phil Anselmo’s studio) the bad thing. The opportunity for peo- JB: You gotta be pissed off and play same place we did Down II and re- ple to put anything out has definitely fast. You gotta be pissed off and corded it at a New Orleans studio. grown, and I think that’s really cool. fuckin’ let it show. Don’t stop trying The last record, Over the Under, So how have social network- and play as much as you can. That’s we recorded in L.A. because a lot ing sites like Facebook have what we did. Write good songs don’t of the studios weren’t up and run- helped Down with connect- worry about gimmicks and shit. ning after Katrina. So it was really ing with your fans or get- It was a pleasure, thank you nice to stay home and have that ting the music out there? JB: Take care. New Orleans vibe in the record to JB: It’s great. I can see in the future as well. Makes a difference man. bands doing concerts; you pay online Visit online: www.down-nola.com As far as song titles which one to see it and you can sit and jam. It’s and if you can get to the Ohio sticks out from the new record? just things we’ve been talking about area, buy a ticket for Rock On The in the future, but obviously nothing Range. JB: “Witchtripper.” takes away from the vibe of a real What does it sound like? live show. It’d be cool if while bands JB: It’s fire bro. It sounds like Down are recording you could log online and I’m really excited about it. I’m and check out what they’re doing. 7
Fandom Fest Author Interview with
Georgia L. Jones By G.L. Giles (who also appears as a literary guest at this year’s Fandom Fest) Georgia L. Jones was born in Columbia, Missouri on September 21st, 1968. In 1992, she settled in the beautiful Ozarks town of Lebanon, Missouri.
your writing on your Facebook Page and your Facebook Fan Club Page, so I know that you recently released your first novel
At a young age, Georgia learned the value of getting lost in a good book. She has always enjoyed reading and letting her imagination run wild. In her early teenage years, she began to put her own stories down on paper as she plunked out the words on an old manual typewriter.
REMNANTS OF LIFE: LEGENDS OF DARKNESS. Plus, you still have your daytime work as well. How are you able to balance the two?
In 1996, Georgia enrolled at Missouri State University where she majored in Psychology. While there, she found an unquenchable thirst for Philosophy and Greek Mythology. Many evenings she can still be found curled up with one of the great Greek Tragedies or reading about personal continuity by Rene Descartes. Over the years, Jones has harbored the dream of being a published author and written many short stories, none of which she has ever sought publishing for. On January 10, 2010 she embarked on the dream as she began to bring the characters from her first novel, Legends of Darkness, to life. Upon completion in June 2010, she realized that it was not a single book but a series, and she created the concept of the series “Remnants of Life.”
Georgia L. Jones: First of all, thank you so much for interviewing me. I’m honored and surprised at all of the attention I have received with my novel. I own and operate Aphrodite’s Hair & Nails in Lebanon, MO. I have a husband and a 5 year old at home so I am definitely a very busy person. However, the writing part just comes natural. I have always written things. It is just who I am. If I’m stressed out I write, if I’m happy I write, balancing that aspect of my life isn’t difficult at all. With getting Legends of Darkness actually published I have cut my days at the salon though. Where I was working 5 days a week, now I’m only working 3-4, but the hours are longer. I am lucky enough to love both my jobs and look forward to continuing balancing both for a very long time. Also, I believe if you are not moving, you’re standing still and I like to feel productive. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to fulfill an endeavor that some would see as daunting. I enjoy pushing myself.
She is currently working diligently on the “Remnants of Life” series, and is to be a featured guest at the Fandom Fest this sum- I see that Legends of Darkness is already getmer along with the author of this interview. ting great reviews, and I’m eager to read it! Would you please tell readers the main plot, First, it’s great to be interviewing you for sans spoilers (of course)? Do you consider Target Audience Magazine! I’ve been keep- Legends of Darkness a character-driven book? ing up with what’s going on with you and SPRING 2012 ISSUE
Legends of Darkness is a very character-driven book. It is all about a regular woman, Samantha Garrett, who lives an ordinary life in the human world. She has a preconceived idea of what the afterlife will be like, and when she dies she awakens Samoda, a Warrior in the Army of Nuem. She is actually pulled into a world that is right here around the humans, as well as a couple of other worlds like Vicus and Atheria. She learns that human legends are, in fact, real, somewhat – they are at least founded on a seed of truth. Her species of Warriors are vampire-like and are actually a kind of arc-angel here for the human’s protection against evil that shouldn’t be here…and I assure you, what they are after, shouldn’t be here. I can tell you that Vlad Tepes has a small part as a jealous imposter as well as one of my characters was the first woman prosecuted during the Salem Witch Trials. When I wrote it, I wanted something completely different from anything out there, something outside the box, from some of the reviews I have received; I believe I succeeded with that. I know that wonderful fellow author Stephen Zimmer was the beta reader for your novel. How important do you think the role of a beta reader is? I think a beta reader is an absolute integral part of the process. I was lucky to find someone like Mr. Zimmer to do that for me. He was honest and open about his thoughts and opinions. It is all too easy for a friend or loved-one to read your book and love it. I really believe it is also honest when they do. I just think they are biased. For instance, my husband really and truly loved Legends of Darkness, BUT he knows me. He sees me in the book, just like many of my friends did. Once I completed the book, I was actually mulling over whether it was good enough to seek a publisher, and, through a series of events, the manuscript actually ended up in the hands of retired magazine publisher who I did not know at all. After she read the book she wrote me a letter telling me how wonderful she thought it was, while at the same time giving me some critical advice in the editing area. At the time, it gave me the little boost that I needed to seek a publisher. I believe no matter what I write I will always have a beta reader. I personally don’t want to hear how perfect a work is; I want to know the pitfalls of a project, so I can fix it.
I love the cover art for Legends of Darkness! How important is having a professional book designer, etc. to you? Did you have any input as far as the design went? I did have some input. My publisher, Blackwyrm Publishing, was fantastic in that area. I actually got to pick the cover picture. Dave Mattingly, President of Blackwyrm, took care of the rest. He did whatever it is that they do to make it look wonderful. I’m not a graphic artist, and I believe completely that it should be left up to ones who know what they are doing in that area. A professional knows what will attract the eye and, after all, that is what initially makes a reader pick up a book. The cover should look professional and should relate to the book. In the case of Legends of Darkness, I believe the cover portrays my heroine, Samoda, very well. She looks like I had envisioned her. What made you decide to go with this particular publisher, BlackWyrm Publishing? It’s actually another interesting story: I had shopped Legends of Darkness around for about a year when I decided to go to Fandom Fest in Louisville, KY. I had talked with Stephen Zimmer, and he had told me about a new session they were adding to the literary track there. That session was “Pitch the Publisher.” There were two publishers involved in the project, and I had done some research and really decided that either of them seemed like a good fit for my book. Both publishing houses seemed like great small presses. When I met Dave Mattingly, I was probably more nervous than I had ever been, and that is saying a lot because I have previously met some celebrities and never got tongue tied. After the session I was able to catch him, Mr. Mattingly, outside the room and I actually apologized for being so nervous. I informed him that I had butterflies in the stomach problem. He responded to me, “It’s not about getting rid of the butterflies it’s about teaching them to fly in formation.” Over the course of the weekend in Louisville, I had the opportunity to talk with Dave and several of the other authors from Blackwyrm and I was very impressed. The quality of their books was spot on, I liked the cover art that I saw from them, and the personalities seemed genuine and kind. I knew then, that if they accepted me; I would be on board with them. It took about two and a half months to hear back
from them and when I was accepted, I readily took the offer. I must say, I did turn down another offer while I was waiting and it wasn’t because I had anything against the other press, I just had the gut feeling that Blackwyrm was right for me and I feel that I made the right decision. I cannot imagine being anywhere else. I feel at home with them.
domfest last year, I wasn’t published and I still had authors give me cards, email addresses, and other contact information for questions that I would have later. It was an amazing experience. I have often referred to them with questions that I have had and made some great friends along the way.
It’s great that we’ll both be at Fandom Fest in Kentucky this year, and I can’t wait to meet you in person! Have you attended any other conventions this year? In previous years? How do you think they’ve helped you grow as a writer if so?
go to pick up a copy of Legends of Darkness?
Do you see Legends of Darkness being made into Now, I know that you’ve been super busy with a movie one day? If so, then which actors would your book launch, a radio station interview, you like playing your characters and why? etc. Has it been fun being in the public eye? This may be the toughest question yet… I can see It’s very odd. I’m actually a very private person. A Legends of Darkness as a movie. I have had many couple of things have happened to make me blush people tell me that as well after reading it. I ofand giggle so far though. First, my community is ten refer to it as “Legion meets Underworld” when fairly small, everyone knows everyone. So, the week trying to describe it. I actually think Kate Beckinbefore my launch I was featured on the front page sale, Seline from Underworld, would make a great of our local paper, The Lebanon Daily Record, in Samoda, my Heroine. The way she moves in the the Sunday Edition. On Monday, when I went into movie is how I picture Samoda moving. As far as one of the local gas stations I was actually ask for Drake, that would have to be Kenny Kalinowski. He my autograph on a couple of the papers, that was a is a guy on my facebook friends list. He posted pics real surprise. Then the day after my actual launch, on his page one time and immediately I said, “That one of the lady’s that I had met at the launch mes- is Drake.” He just has the look of my character. I saged me asking if she could start up a fan page. have never actually spoken to him, but I do believe I was in utter shock! I must admit, shyly though, he is an actor and would definitely look the part. that it is quite amazing to me that a “jeans and t- Besides Facebook, are you on any other soshirt” kind of girl like me can get so much attention cial networking sites? If so, then which ones? and I am having fun with the whole experience. Where can Target Audience Magazine readers
As I stated before, I was at Fandomfest last year (2011), and that is where I met my publisher and ultimately got my opportunity to become a published author. I went to every panel that I could find time to sit in on. I just got home from Memphis, TN, where I attended MidSouthCon. I will be at PulpArk next month in Batesville, AR and after that I have seven or eight lined up this year. I think any convention that has a literary track is a good place to be if you have an interest in writing, whether you are already published or just thinking of your first novel. The panels are a wealth of information. You get the opportunity to listen to people who know where you are, who have actually been there. The ones I have been in allow for question and answer afterwards and I found that everyone on the panels readily offered their help. At Fan-
I’m pretty easy to find. I have a website, www. georgialjones.com, where I try to keep up with my blog, “Life Happen.” I always accept and respond to emails, firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find information about Legends of Darkness on my site or on www.blackwyrm.com . You can actually order a copy of Legends of Darkness at any bookstore as well as amazon.com. Kindle actually has the exclusive ebook for 90 days, (I think that ends around mid-June). So if you have a kindle or the kindle app, you can get it from amazon for kindle. If you want an autographed copy, you can get one a couple of different ways…the first being you can show up at any convention that I am attending and I will gladly sign it for you, but also, if you will pay for shipping costs, I would be happy to have it mailed to me and I will mail it back signed and personalized, just email me for requests
SPRING 2012 ISSUE
Tough-as-nails Riff Randall is NOT tramptastic Interview by Rose Riot
Actress P.J. Soles as Riff Randall in “Rock ‘n’ Roll High SChool.
No movie character in existence had more influence on creating the “rock chick” prototype than Riff Randall in “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School,” played by actress P.J. Soles; a pretty, fresh-faced and up-and-coming actress. She had already acquired roles in several movies, but “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” was her most memorable. Soles combined quirky, cute and tough-as-nails to come up with the first character, in my memory, that rocked harder than a boy without compromising femininity. Her portrayal of Randall’s admiration for The Ramones defied comparison the stereotypical groupies of movies of the ‘70s. Randall knew what she wanted, went after it and eventually got it all without being tramptastic. “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” came out in 1979 when I was the tender age of seven. I first saw the movie the following year on cable. It was one of those movies I had heard the grown-ups around me talking about, but I accidentally stumbled upon it one day when I was getting my “latch key on.” The music, the clothes, the attitude made me stop on that particular cable 11
channel and my life hasn’t been the same. I saw what I knew I wanted to become when I was older, “cool.” I took in every word of every scene and created a template of style and behavior and made it my goal to be as “cool as possible” from that day forward. I’m not sure how successfully I have become at the whole “cool” thing, but I saw The Ramones numerous times as a teenager and managed to flip the system “the finger” a few times between shows. The day I met P.J. Soles I was probably looking less than cool. By that Sunday afternoon at the “Days of The Dead” horror convention, a full weekend of work and mothering left only scraps of a clearly thinking human being. I was with my editor, Ellen, whose brain was in a similar state as mine. Ellen, being an amazing multi-tasker and bulldog editor, brought her toddler, Meredith, with us to the con. While Ellen (AKA Super Mom) conducted an interview with Sid Haig, I walked around with Meredith, to keep her entertained. Meredith and I stopped at P.J.’s table — P.J. has one of those personalities that just
Soles with Rose Riot and Meredith Eldridge.
grabs you. Her vibe makes you want to hug her, which I did. The first thing I said to P.J. was, “You are so cool!” and her response was humble and sweet; she was almost blushing at the compliment. My goal, at first, was just to go over and say hi, but we ended up chatting for a bit. I felt like I could have talked to her all afternoon, but I forced myself to share. In a word, she was a doll. P.J. agreed to let me email her a few interview questions that she answered promptly. The smile on my face the day I received her answers was almost as big as the smile I wore the day that I met her. I hope this makes you all smile just as big. How did you come about the role for Rock and Roll High School? I auditioned with many other actresses. Finally, Roger Corman met me and told me that if I made my hair a bit more blonde I could have the part. Were you a Ramones fan before the movie? Absolutely not! The Eagles and Jackson Browne were in my cassette player. Before the film, how did you feel about punk music?
I really didn’t appreciate it or know that much about it. I just thought that’s what the younger generation was into. Did you have any idea when you were filming the that it would be such an important movie? Not at all, but I did think that for The Ramones it would be their “Hard Day’s Night,” but that was because of its campy style and quirky attitude. I thought The Ramones were really unique, and, after watching them perform during the filming of our concert scenes, I really admired their energy and their serious attitude about their music. You must hear on a regular basis how Riff and or that movie changed their lives. If so, tell me about this. YES, I hear a lot of stories about that. It is very rewarding to think that a character in a movie could have a positive effect on so many people whether they are teens, kids or people my age who watched the film in the theaters or saw The Ramones at one of their concerts. How did that movie affect your life? For me, I was grateful to have a lead in a film, and I was excited that I had total say about my character. I bought all the clothes for Riff. I was determined to be in fast motion whenever I was on screen. I wanted Riff to be pure energy, just bursting. How much of you is in Riff Randall? Ha ha! Riff Randall is so the opposite of who I was in high school! I went to the International School in Brussels, Belguim. Lots of foreign students there, parents in the embassies etc. so they were snobby and reserved, but the American girls were so wild, spunky and colorful. I was serious and the editor of our school newspaper for two years; I got As in English and chemistry. I wasn’t into music at that point except for The Beatles, a bit.
Did you mean for her to be such an empowered character? If you mean that she believed in what she was doing, yes. She wanted to get her songs to The Ramones and she would stop at nothing. She had a goal and she knew she could do it. What was the biggest challenge in making that movie? The time factor; with a 21day shooting schedule every take was precious. Sometimes, we only did two and then on to the next scene, but I loved it. To me, that was awesome. Has there ever been a talk about a remake of “Rock and Roll High School,” and if so, how would you feel about that? Yes, I tried personally to make that happen when all The Ramones were still around. We were going to reunite the band, but that’s a long business story. Making a remake without that band – I can’t even imagine it. You can “reimagine” it like Rob Zombie did with “Halloween,” but you can’t get that original sparkle of that first movie. That’s what makes a cult film so special – you can’t recreate the flame the same way twice. How close did you become to The Ramones during and after the movie? We all had fun on set together, but we were busy every minute filming and setting up scenes. I invited them over to my house for Thanksgiving and that was interesting. I ordered pizza for them – maybe they didn’t like my cooking! When Rock and Roll High School was made, certain music was still considered dangerous (the way rock and roll is supposed to be), what do you think about the current state of the music world? I don’t know that I am the one to answer that. Right now, I love country music so that is pretty far away from punk, but not that far from rock. I do think that YouTube has made watching bands SPRING 2012 ISSUE
from all over the world more accessible to fans, and that’s a good thing. My only concern/question is will the music that is being produced today be around as a sweet memory 20 years from now? The current generation may not have the music that means what the music of the ‘70s and ‘80s meant to my generation and all the fans that music has won over. What was the last music you downloaded or CD you bought? I still buy CDs and I love a band from Switzerland called Gotthard. Their songs and their musical abilities are so good – just as good live as when listening to the CD. My daughter and her boyfriend have a band called Jo Nash – they are indie with very original lyrics and music. I bought 20 of their CDs! What movie would you most like to be remembered for? If I had to pick one, I would say “Rock N’ Roll High School” because it was a good time in my life, and I am proud of the work I did to bring Riff to life. What are you up to these days? I love going to conventions and meeting fans, enjoying my son being married and his serving in the Coast Guard, and my daughter’s career as a singer/songwriter and yoga teacher. I love my creativity as I write the lyrics to country songs with my boyfriend and his band, Cheap Rodeo. I can’t wait for that CD to get out there – we’re going to have fun with that! See, Riff did rub off on me – I am a songwriter now! I hear you are writing a book, when can “we” expect to read this? Hopefully, within a year I will be finished or at least have started. Just kidding! Seriously, it’s taking a long time, but I will do it!
The Devil’s Carnival comes from the minds behind Repo! The Genetic Opera. Starting April 5th, they are embarking on a 32-city tour in 40 days, kicking off in Los Angeles. Interview by Danielle Boise The Devil’s Carnival comes from the minds behind Repo! The Genetic Opera. Starting April 5th, they are embarking on a 32-city tour in 40 days, kicking off on in Los Angeles. I was lucky enough to be able to sit down and talk about the film with the writer and Lucifer himself, Terrance Zdunich (Repo! The Genetic Opera), a couple of days before he and Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II, Saw III, Saw IV), along with some cast members all jam into cars, vans, and trucks to caravan across the country to bring The Devil’s Carnival road show experience straight to their fans. Here is what he had to say about all things Repo and The Devil’s Carnival related, along with art, the creative process and what’s on the horizon.
rock opera movie, called Repo! The Genetic Opera.
We and the creative people behind it put a lot of time and energy, years actually, into that project, and it’s like all hard projects, especially ones that are sort of under the radar like Repo!. There are struggles and there are certainly lows, but there are also a lot of highs with that film, specifically in the way it really found an audience. An underground sort of midnight movie audience that embraced the film and has kept it playing, literally, in mom and pop theaters all across the world ever since. So, we knew we wanted to do something in that vein again. By in that vein, I mean another edgy kind of anti-musical kind of movie. We sort of sat down and talked It sounds like you got setabout things that we wanted to tled, so is it a little less hectic see or hear in a film. Something and crazy out there for you? that always inspired me, at least as a kid, was dark house, dark Terrance: Yea, I don’t know how rides at amusement parks and much you know about the projhow you would sit in a car with a ect, but we’re not only finishing lap bar down and you’d be taken this monumental project and geton this journey with painted flats ting it ready to screen for audiand perspectives. In some cases, ences, but we are doing it all indelike the Haunted Mansion at Dispendently. So we really kind of are neyland, for example, you literally managing everything, from the have not only a visual feast but release of the soundtrack to the also music coming at you. And, booking of the tour, you name it. for me, I thought how cool it would be to actually That sounds like a huge undertaking. create a world where, literally, it’s like a ride. And in It is, but I think it’s all worth it. We are do- this world, not only is the ride singing at you or the ing something called Devil’s Carnival, so if characters are singing at you, but they are literally it’s not edgy and difficult then we probably singing to you. So, that was sort of the impetus beshould not have jumped in, in the first place. hind the whole thing and The Devil’s Carnival was Very true. How did you come up with the idea born, and it’s just continued to grow from that point. for The Devil’s Carnival? What was your inspira- How long did it take you to compose the soundtrack? tion behind it? Well, there are several things. The first part, the di- I think the entire writing process on Devil’s Carnival, rector of The Devil’s Carnival, Darren Lynn Bous- both the scripts and the music — because they work man, and I had collaborated once before on a horror hand in hand on projects like this — was about a 13
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two-year journey with a lot of revisions, which is typical. Sometimes, you write an entire song or songs and then realize that you might like the songs, but they are wrong for the project. So, about a two-year journey of really not only honing the story but also really developing the musical style of the film, and the musical style is very different than Repo, for example, which was very futuristic, industrial sounding mixed with opera. The Devil’s Carnival is just the opposite; it sounds like something from the past. There are no electronic instruments; everything is brass sections and junkyard percussion. Really, the palette of the music is something that you might see or hear Carnies playing, and, of course, we added a devilish twist. You are literally doing it caravan style with these 37 dates. What you would do if you were a roadie? Yeah, it’s punk rock. We are treating the movie like it’s a rock concert more so than your typical film experience. So, I think that’s really the exciting fact — that the songs are great and the story is cool. I think the real reason to come out to the road tour is that it’s a cool experience and it’s one that you won’t get if you aren’t there. You can’t download this experience, and, of course, there will be audience participation. The director and I will be there, as well as some of the stars of the film for various stops. I think, for us, because we are doing this independently, and we’ve financed it through independent money, it’s literally a team of myself and some of the creatives really pushing the entire project along. So, it seemed to me that when it came to distributing it, if we are jumping onto a project so outside the box to suddenly do a distribution model that was inside the box didn’t make sense. We decided touring was the way to go. The first tour, in answer to your question, if the first tour was successful and we’ll know very soon if that’s the case, I would love to do more. We are already getting a lot of inquires from places like the UK, for example. It’s really going to determine if, and depend on if, this one is a success and pays for itself. If so, we can continue to do more and will. You did the similar thing with Repo, so what did you take from that to put this tour together?
worked on it for years, it got a couple of really horrible reviews early on, and Lionsgate decided, in essence, to shelve it; to have it disappear into the bottom of a DVD bin. I get it, the movie is hard to classify, it is certainly not an easy thing to market, at least not by traditional standards. So, at that point, the filmmakers and I kind of had a choice to either to let the film disappear into obscurity or ask, “How do we find an audience?” We know there is an audience for this. It may not be your typical audience, but we know that they exist, so how do we get this film in front of them. And that’s how the Repo road tour was born. I think that the main way that tour, or tours really are responsible for the life that Repo has now. So, with The Devil’s Carnival we thought, “Well, why don’t we lead with that?” I mean, literally, it’s a carnival, and carnivals travel from town to town. Definitely can’t miss it. It’s an experience. It has a lot of that same flavor that people enjoy with movies like Repo or The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It’s edgy and these sort of things don’t come around very often. I mean Rocky Horror Picture Show is 35 years old. I think that we are proving that you can do something wacky and artistic for an audience. For yourself, you can find that audience yourself if you’re courageous or insane enough to hop on a van and drive around the country. How is it being any artist creating this multi-layered experience and trying to profit within that experience? How has that been for you so far? Ah profit (with laughter). I suppose I figured out how to squeak by as an artist and not have a job as an accountant, for example, but as an artist, especially as an independent artist, it’s a perpetual struggle. We’re hoping with The Devil’s Carnival that if it’s a success, we setup it up in such a way that we control the movie more. If it’s a success, we can dictate whether we make a second one or where it goes, if you tour it or what sort of songs you release. As such, if it’s a success then the people who created it have a chance to make some money as opposed to doing a studio film. Where in the case of Repo, for example, I just pretty much sold the project away just to get it made. So, I’m optimistic about seeing profit, I guess. But, as of now to this date for five years total, I have two films now, and I’m still always wondering how I’m going to pay my rent each month. But, you know, it’s part of the journey. Creating art is a struggle and if it changes one day I’ll come and let you know.
Repo really got our wheels turning in a lot of things for this project, specifically how we could do it better and more specifically so we retain some creative control over the fate of the film. With Repo the road tours made it out of necessity. We finished the movie, we I would love to know that answer. (laughter) This has been several years in the mak15
ing from writing and creating and conceptualizing this idea, so did it turn out the way you expected, is it better or worse, and did it change somewhere along the way? There are always changes and, at some point, you get used to whatever the version is. You know, working in music you hear a lot of people saying they get demo-itis. What that means is that you often create a demo of the track first before you record the real thing. But, you get used to hearing the demo so much. Now the demo, when the real one comes in, even though it’s better, you’re so used to the demo that you kind of go, “Wait, I like the demo more.” So, I think often times as a writer you feel married to that initial idea you have. And sometimes that is not necessarily the best idea. Those ideas are just what you are familiar with. So, the good news is with The Devil’s Carnival I’m extremely happy and proud of the end result. I think the spirit of the project, which is hugely ambitious especially for the budget we had to work with, really held true. And I think that in many ways it outdid what our original ideas were. Especially getting the caliber of some of the cast and musicians that came on board.
branching out and doing something different or do you just kind of want to throw a little bit of everything that you do into one project? I suppose it’s that. I don’t know. I guess I try to, when I’m creating first and foremost, just make something I want see or that I would want to hear. So, I happen to be drawn to these sort of things. I’m a huge fan of Rocky Horror and horror films in general, and music in general so, to me, it seems like a pretty natural thing to do. Although, I realize when I talk to people about it they’re like, ‘that’s pretty crazy,’ most people don’t do that, but for me it seems pretty natural. I hope to continue to do these sort of projects well beyond The Devil’s Carnival. Which character was the first character cast? Obviously, aside from you, you’re playing Lucifer, but somebody separate.
The first person we brought in was Emilie Autumn. She signed up very early on for the project. We even filmed sort of a teaser with her months and months before going to actual picture. So much so that even in that teaser that her costume looks nothing like the costume in the real film. We went after her first. I remember introducing her music to DarI’m a huge fan of Emilie Autumn. She’s really amaz- ren and him immediately saying “Oh my god she ing in The Devil’s Carnival. I’m a fan of her work would be perfect as Painted Doll,” and I was like and to write something like The Devil’s Carnival “Yeah, duh.” I want to say he contacted her on Faceand conceive a character, The Painted Doll, that book or something as simple as that. She watched she plays feels great. I had an idea for it, of course. Repo and said “I want to work with these guys. My brain thought, “It would be great to have Emi- It’s amazing the social networking capabilities lie Autumn play this,” but then the insecure aspect we have to change our fates. of an artist’s brain thinks, “She’ll never do a project like this.” Then, lo and behold, reaching out to people Yea, we cast the majority of both Devil’s Carnival and like her or Ivan Moody from Five Finger or “Clown” Repo through social networking. I’m pretty certain from Slipknot yields a confident pride, “Okay, we are that Darren reached out to Alexa Vega, who is the doing this crazy project, it’s a musical and I know lead in Repo, on Myspace. I mean it took some peryou guys do heavy metal, but it’s a musical and we sistence because as you can imagine you’re getting have no money, are you in?” And, thankfully, in all emails from strangers asking “Be in my movie,” so it those cases, I think the material is strong enough took a little persistence to look at what was being that they looked at it and said, “Hell yea I’m in.” sent, but once it was sent and she got it, she was like “Hell ya I’m in.” Similarly, we got some of non-musiThe set feels more like a family experience than a lot of cian actors in The Devil’s Carnival that way. Darren films where people are there because they are getting reached out to Dayton Callie, who plays Ticket-Keeper paid or they view it as career move or what have you. in Devil’s Carnival, kind of famous for Deadwood and Everyone at the Devil’s Carnival really was embrac- Sons of Anarchy. He reached out to him on Facebook ing it and I think that the material was elevated sub- and got involved. The guy has never sang in a musical stantially because of that, and so as a writer it’s pretty before and was just into the idea of doing something cool to sit back and watch the characters come to life. wacky. And now he’s part of our dysfunctional family. What draws or inspires you to create these Do you get to do the comic book scenes like you did rock horror musicals. Have you thought of in Repo with Devil’s Carnival are there going to be SPRING 2012 ISSUE
some more of that because I really enjoyed that? Oh thank you. No and I’m very thankful of that because I spent a lot of time on those panels for Repo and in many ways the panels for Repo were born out of necessity, because we didn’t have the time or the money to finish all the scenes that we wanted. So, Devil’s Carnival doesn’t have comic books as such in it, but I’m sure if you have seen any of our promotional material thus far, it’s a very visual, very cartoony; dark, but cartoony world. Where all the characters look over the top and there is sideshow posters and artwork that I think helps tell the story. Not necessarily in a literal way as the comics books did in Repo. We have a character named Scorpion played by Marc Senter; he is a greaser who literally has a big rubber pompadour that’s really cartoony, as cartoony goes. He looks like he’s stepped out of some weird demonic Archie’s comic book or something and he throws knives with his plastic hairdo. He just recently mentioned that he loved working on the project, Marc Senter did and that “it’s an insanely cool musical.” You guys are getting some amazing press that must feel kind of nice in comparison like you said before with Repo getting kind of not the happiest of press.
would be in a film. I think, for me, what it really comes down to is archetypes and it’s no coincidence that in a movie called The Devil’s Carnival we are dealing with notions of good and evil, and specifically sin. The Carnies and the attendees that they basically torment in this world are heightened representations of those sins. For example, the Hobo clown character, which is played by Ivan Moody of Five Finger Death Punch, he’s on the one hand a version of the sort of traditional hobo clown that you seen in like velvet paintings. This sort of hobo with the painted on five o’clock shadow with the bag on the stick over his shoulder, on one hand he is that, but in this world he really is more a prophet against greed, but then, at the same time, he will beg you for money to tell you how horrible greed is. So the irony is there? The irony is there, so I guess the question is, do the Attendees that the Carnies are performing for will they recognize the irony before it’s too late? What do you think your next project? Are you thinking that far ahead or are you so completely immersed in The Devil’s Carnival right now that there’s not another project on the horizon? At the moment, I’m pretty immersed; I’m hopping in a van in two days. But, with that said, I’ve actually been working for the last couple years on an ongoing comic book series. Well, it’s ongoing for 12 issues I should say. It’s a 12-part graphic novel that I am writing and illustrating called The Molting. I’m 7 issues through with it, so I imagine that I will continue to be working on this between other projects like The Devil’s Carnival at least for the next few years to come. But, it’s another artistic labor of love for me and it’s huge. When it’s all said and done it will be 600 pages, and it’s my portrait of the dysfunctional family in comic book form.
I think the difference is one that Devil’s Carnival is a more mature work on many fronts. With that said, the difference was with Repo we treated like it was a normal movie right off the bat. We went to normal press. Showed it at afternoon prep screens on a Wednesday and that’s not anyway to see Repo. So you could see how if you saw it in that setting and you didn’t know what to expect you might just be like what the fuck is this? So, with The Devil’s Carnival, not that we are shunning the mainstream, but I think we are more tailoring our approach to the people actually seeing this sort of thing and as such, they seem How would you describe to anyone on the to be liking it. I couldn’t be happier or more proud. street what The Devil’s Carnival experience is? Where were you finding your inspiration The experience is something that you can’t downfor the characters, for anything actually? load and you wouldn’t want to, even if you could. You want to be there for the experience. I think that It’s such a process writing this sort of thing. Some- experience is to make going to the movies fun again. times music comes first. Sometimes characters Where you’re not just sitting there quietly watching comes first. Sometimes thought comes first, but something munching on your popcorn, but you, as an I think, for me, it really comes down to a world audience member, are engaged and often times parlike that of a carnival where everything is so ticipating, not only with the filmmakers, but with likeheightened, and, really, these Carnie characters minded weirdos around you. It definitely is a nightact as heightened reflections of the real world. time experience where people like to dress up, have Everything is so beautiful and profane, and represents fun, be rowdy and sometimes sing along to the screen. something bigger than what a normal character 17
Poem by Rich Orth, Art by Frank Garcia
In this mix
Contort as we abort
Swallow as we vomit
Transition is ours
Follow as we omit
Cavorts as we extort
Abolition is ours
Day after day
Year upon year
Eon after eon
SPRING 2012 ISSUE
My Dream Within a Dream! Art by Joey DAMMIT! Poem by Rich Orth Confined within …windows of crimson Walls of this.. …..this muted periwinkle In my recluse Where genius once envisioned Written are my thoughts Words expounded ..for all to see Inspiration.. mine and mine alone For this moment I shall cherish Captured by an aura Convinced all my senses Emotions overflow and dispense That Poe ..remains Love of his life & he Perished years and miles apart One can sense… must… With little…. or no imagination Lovers..caress Illness, loneliness Sun setting Darkness prevails Tales of Mystery… Sparking imagination Replaying..over and over again Embedded in a mind Flush full of dreams My dream within a dream!
Discontent By nature
Poetry by Meaghan Natasha Walton Photography: Rose Riot
I hath not the ability to well what it is, That maketh the sea want to move From it’s still collected mood. What hath it so furious at many times? Is it the sorrowful wind, Perpetually probing for something that his capability can not hold, But receive scantly a taste of? The sea thoroughly looks through him With not an ounce of pity; However surely viewed his cries As an act of idiocy. I wonder when the wind will cease his whimpering lies For he’s simply a spirit and a soulless mess, That shall never be content.
Sonnet of a Pretty Ugly Dead Girl Watch as the yellow face turns you to nothing. Your eroding body was once something, Something which has left a mark so refined, That you’ve become so easily defined. What they don’t know is how rotten you were, For beauty has created such a blur; Yet in my mind you are easily begotten, As the one who shall never be forgotten. So well taken, you’ve deceived many. Now taken as the worth of a penny. You laid in your casket, pretty as ever. That is a day I shall forget never. This belongs to a the girl whom is named Pearl Sonnet of a pretty ugly dead girl. SPRING 2012 ISSUE
Juggling: An Essay on Inspiration and the Music Industry By Glen Naylor
No matter who we are or what we see, hear and feel, we can be inspired; for me it is hearing the laughter of children and seeing their lovely, happy, little faces.
Photo by Ellen Eldridge
Inspiration, creativity and imagination are indeed wonderful attributes that we The mob of Kangaroos arrives all have, it is really just about finding and using them. it becomes a matter of pursuing our dreams early, as the sun pops up over the mountain Then, and finding out what we are capable of, irrespective and colours the fluffy clouds. Eastern Grey kanof our age or circumstance. For me, over a very short garoos live in this region and they bound over time it has been songwriting and I having received the frosty grass on these crisp early winter mornoutstanding recognition, especially in January this ings, in BRIGHT, North Eastern Victoria, Australia. year by winning Gary Allen’s contest in Nashville. Bright is a small country town in a lovely valley surrounded by majestic mountains in My story is one of love, passion, a spectacularly beautiful part of the world. The mob of Kangaroos sits beneath our window every morning; the little joeys hop in and out of their pouches and play tag. Watching close by is a laughing Kookaburra, waiting to be hand-fed.
dedication and determination; in finding the ability to be able to turn things on their heads,
in part, by creating children’s songs and, more reThe last of the coloured leaves falls from cently, many other styles. Starting out at a late the trees and tiptoes along the breeze. stage in my life whilst trying to deal with the hardIn the distance is the highest mountain in Vic- ships of day to day living I found the ability to toria, Mount Bogong (“BIG FELLA” in Aborigi- turn negatives into positives. I consider myself nal) the peaks are covered with the early snow. most fortunate to have the personality to do this. We only have to look from out our windows to To find the time to write is very difficult; I have be inspired, whether we see the beauty of na- to steal moments at odd hours when things are ture, flora or fauna. We can study the wonder- quiet. I creep around like a little mouse! Over a ful faces of people who each have their own tale relatively short time I have made fantastic new to tell. We can gaze at the Milky Way or the full friendships in the music business, particularly in Moon, or admire the architecture in magnificent the U.S which I am delighted with, what a bonus! buildings, themselves, wonderful works of art. As a first time entrant into any contest in 2008 I submitted Lyrics into the ASA Australian Songwriters
Association Contest. It is a very large prestigious annual event, to my dismay I had three songs on the shortlist and one came in at number ten. Once this happened I decided to find myself a co-writer, with whom I have been working ever since Chris Wilson, Melbourne, Australia. In my opinion Chris is a brilliant musician who plays many instruments, we work very well together and respect the others view, I write the lyrics and melodies and Chris does the rest!
ville again this year. Gary has supported me from the very start and I value his friendship greatly, he has a wealth of experience and knowledge in the music business. He has performed and recorded with music icon Eric Clapton and the legendary JJ Cale. Winning this one absolutely blows me away! My husband and I have raised our beautiful grandson from a tiny baby he is now nine and my inspiration, especially for the kid’s songs. We have another four gorgeous grandkids two boys and two girls.
In November 2011 one of my songs came in at No. 2 in the ASA it was ‘Rock and rolling Nana.’ Our little boy has struggled since starting school, We work with some terrific artists, a great saxophon- now after four years of my battling with school, ist Jimmy Sloggett, vocalist Simone Gill who has a teachers, lots of professionals and many governbeautiful voice and Bec Hance a great Country singer. ment departments; I can see some light at the end of the tunnel. I was trying to The recognition we have refind out what was so different ceived in a little over three years in what they were observing is mind blowing especially in the at school, and, what I saw at U.S by people whom I conhome (which was entirely difsider to be amongst the ferent). Subsequent IQ testing very best in the business, and many other assessments namely the legendary have identified our little boy as a highly gifted VISUAL SPATIAL Mike Pinder of the Moody LEARNER, I am reading everyBlues, almost every song that thing I can gets my hands on was submitted and judged by to learn as much as I can about Mike was either a semi- finalist VSL learners, I would love to or got a very honourable menshare some of what I know tion. Mike was a friend of John to date it is quite fascinating. Lennon and Mike said to ‘little old me’ in a critique that he exI have just finished readpects to “see my name in lights ing a great book ‘THE ELone day.” How cool is that! EMENT’ by Sir Ken RobDoctor Eugene Foley of FoleyEntertainment.com is an author and a highly respected music executive/ strategist. It is my pleasure to work with Gene who is delightful, friendly and as honest as the day is long. I would highly recommend Gene to any artist looking to work with someone who is a consummate professional, who will have their best interests at heart.
inson, my name is not mentioned in the book, but I am in it for sure, so is our little grandson. It seems to me that many children can have great difficulty learning in the rote, sequential
manner that is taught in the classroom, by which some of the rest of us learn. This is glaringly evident in the examples given in ‘THE ELEMENT’ where I also Chris, myself and my grandson had the plea- read that when Sir Paul McCartney was at school no sure of meeting Gene and his lovely daughter one ever picked up on that he had any musical talent! when we were in New York a few months ago. At a recent Seminar I attended, one of the guest My mate in Nashville Gary Allen (Charlie Daniels speakers was a highly respected American professor Band) is a little ripper. Gary has toured with the Roll- who is an expert on giftedness in children. The overing Stones, Bruce Springsteen and Stonewall Jack- whelming outcome of all that I heard at the seminar son to name just a few. Gary is still trying to learn was to never give up on these children. the Aussie lingo, although he is improving! I will give him a few more lessons when we visit Nash- In the book ‘UPSIDE DOWN BRILLIANCE’ by LinSPRING 2012 ISSUE
da K. Silverman Ph.D. it gives a great insight into result, it is a catchy little song with a bit of a history HOW and WHY some kids learn in a different way lesson in which Santa visits the seven continents. and she says “They may well be the Einsteins I have been privileged to attend Master classes with of the future.” This book is a must for parents Professor Pat Pattison of the Berklee College of Muwho think their kids learn in a ‘DIFFERENT’ way sic in Boston, when he has visited Australia. Reto what is being taught in school, it is worth hav- cently, I was invited by Pat to submit some examing a look at www.starjump.com.au, which also ples of my work to be considered for his new book gives insight into a different way of learning. “Songwriting without Boundaries.” I still have my I would like to be an advocate for these kids because fingers crossed that I will be chosen for that honour. I believe many might slip through the cracks as they may be seen as non-compliant, inattentive, disruptive and so on. Every child deserves the very best education possible, however, in my own opinion it seems we still have a long way to go with educating the educators for them to be able to detect and identify at a very early age any obvious differences in learning patterns and to help, nurture, mentor and understand little kids far more effectively.
When we visited the U.S a couple of months ago, we were all over the place from the West coast to New York and Miami. We then spent a few days in Nashville, as one of our songs had been chosen to be recorded by ROBERT VENABLE in his studio; it was a great to meet Robert. He engineers/ produces music for the hit TV show GLEE and he produced the fantastic Aussie rock band INXS and many Grammy, Platinum and Gold recording artMy husband is a T.P.I. (totally permanently in- ists. We are very pleased with the finished product! capacitated) War Veteran who was involved in I was in Nashville in 2010 and did a couple of tera war action for Australia in Malaysian/Indone- rific radio interviews whilst I was there. I have sian waters at the time of the Vietnam War. I have been to the U.S. many times and love the place been his full time ‘Carer’ for many years it can and especially the people who are always so be rewarding, but at the same time very trying. friendly, warm and welcoming and great fun too. Quite apart from the many serious long term illnesses he suffers, many war veterans can also experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which can be devastating, for themselves and everyone around them.
Music is a wonderful way to escape from, or, to wherever we want to go. I am on the Speakers Bank for Carer’s Victoria, Australia. My advice to others who give up so much helping, volunteering and caring for others My co-writer Chris and I have now written many in such a selfless way is to” when possible sit down put songs in different genres, including Country, R&B, your feet up and put some music on or dance around love ballads etc. I will continue to write kids songs, the kitchen if you have the energy” music can change many of them have a distinctly Aussie feel in which your mood and give you a whole new approach to I talk about Kangaroos, Koalas and the Aussie bush. meet head on what the day demands. I always have Recently one of our songs, “Santa’s Dream Flight,” it playing in the background…usually Miles Davis! was chosen for http://www.christmasmusic247.com If all else fails I reckon I could get a job in a circus as a Christmas radio in the U.S we are delighted with that JUGGLER I have had a lot of practise over recent times!
Joshua Grover-David Patterson
ERCY is an example of an M epistolary novel at its best, for though many have written
the same sort with the hopes of adding a sense of greater realism perhaps, many have also lost the heartfelt connection to the characters (by the reader) in the process.
So, while this zombie apocalypse storyline is quite interesting in its own right for its breaking free from lots of others in the same somewhat saturated vein, I’d consider it a character-driven book primarily. It mostly revolves around the character of Georgina Fulci since it’s comprised of her journal entries, and therefore her point-of-view. Most mothers will commiserate at some level to her plight of being caught in a catastrophic zombie uprising after being planewrecked on an unknown island while her young daughter’s whereabouts and safety is unknown. It’s not revealed till near the end of the novel, in an exciting and rather rapid denouement, whether or not her daughter, Mercy, is alive or not. No spoiler alert here, so that’s all I’m going to say about that, but I will say that other main characters’ fates are also revealed about the same time. Characters most readers will really grow to love for various reasons—including their heroics and their flaws.
vealed. For instance, a zombie’s bite in his book won’t turn a human into a zombie. Something else does, and there are also some unanswered questions as well that have me convinced that both a prequel and sequel would be quite well-received reads!
Plus, many of the characters represent a great cross-section of society coming together for the comebook edition available at www.amazon.com/ mon good—well, the common good of humans who are still alive at least…can’t say the formerly-human Mercy-ebook/dp/B004TSJBKE ghouls fare that well. It’s also to Patterson’s credit that some different-than-standard-fare zombie lore is re- Review by G.L. Giles SPRING 2012 ISSUE
Zombies of the World By
Ross Payton Slang Design; June, 2011
As Payton explains in his Preface, this book sprang from two of his loves: “zombies and
nonfiction books on fictional topics.” I would add to that his obvious love of approaching zombie lore with a wonderful sense of humor. This gory gem is a comprehensive look at the various kinds of zombies and their respective conservation statuses, etcetera. For instance, the Aztec Mummy, or Mortifera Mumia Mictlantecuhtli, is listed as extinct while the Draugr, or Mortifera Immortalis Norse, is listed as critically endangered. Just the idea of wanting to “save” zombies from extinction is a novel one. Plus, certain questions regarding zombies are answered such as what qualifies as a zombie. They must have GHUL genetic markers for one. Also, the concept of Omega Anima is brought up to explain why zombies like the Common Gray Shambler, or Mortifera Immortalis Romeroi, can actually live for close to three hundred years in one case without digesting food for energy. With each distinct type of zombie, their habits, habitat, reproduction and range are discussed. For instance, Common Gray Shamblers are “instinctive herd animals, commonly gathering in large groups. The proper name for such a group is a horde” (p. 26). Dovetailing with many characteristics of the Common Gray Shamblers are the Western Mall Zombies, or Mortifera Immortalis Consumpti, who “spontaneously mutate out of existing Gray Shamblers” (p. 56). The humorous zombie revelations continue with the Dancing Zombie, or Mortifera Immortalis Choreographicus, whose conservation status is unfortunately vulnerable even though they pose no real threat to humans. “Instead, troupes of Dancing Zombies will swarm around isolated individuals and subject them to intricate dance numbers” (p. 54). Even so, some humans have been frightened “or even thrilled” after coming across the Dancing Zombies (p. 54). However, just because the book promotes a tongue-incheek perspective, doesn’t mean that some pretty nasty pieces of work aren’t 25
touched upon as well like the Talking Zombie, or Mortifera Immortalis Trioxin, who “is considered the most dangerous species of undead in the world” (p. 52). This may be because they “are highly aggressive predators who actively seek to eat the brains of humans, claiming that it eases the pain of being undead” (p. 52). Fortunately for those of us who are human, there is a section near the back of the book on “Surviving Zombie Encounters.” For instance, it may surprise some to learn in Lesson 1 of this section that “Humans are the greatest danger!” As it’s revealed, a “Religious Fanatic” can be extremely dangerous as “they all tend to act violently and erratically in a zombie attack” (p. 69). To say that I love this book is really an understatement; it’s one that is already a welcome addition to my bookshelf of permanent keeps! www.zombiesoftheworld.com Review By G.L. Giles
Book Reviews (GMOs), and the not-so-recent news of the deteriorating farmland across the country. I’m not quite ready to move my family to a farm and raise chickens, yet, but starting with a few seeds and Jasko’s manual makes perfect sense. The fact that the seed germination guide targets optimum soil temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees means now is the perfect time to start for most places in the United States. Homesweet Homegrown’s step-by-step tips on transplanting to a garden or planting a “lasagna garden” mean that no one, not even you, has an excuse to delay any longer. I’m awfully excited to start growing my own tomatoes, asparagus, eggplant, squash and more that I don’t know why I’m even still writing this review! I’m off to start a garden! (And I’ll probably put a Gnombie in it to stay with the zombie spring theme).
he bad news is that you really are out of T excuses to delay growing your own food now that Robyn Jasko, founder of www.
I met Robyn Jasko in high school what seemed like a million years ago. She favored fine art and I writing so we compromised — she took a creative writing class with me while I conned my way into “Senior Art Portfolio” (a class where I painted in water color and made clay compositions of Willy Wonka’s head while the other students prepared for art colleges). Jasko decided to follow the writing path, and I couldn’t be more proud of the work she’s done over the last million years. We should look up Ms. Brown from that creative writing class. The accompanying illustrations by Jennifer Biggs bring such a sense of earthy peach to this book; it’s a guide I will most certainly treasure, and store copies of in my fallout shelter.
growindie.com, has published Homesweet Homegrown: How to Grow, Make, And Store Food, No Matter Where You Live. As the title suggests, this nearly pocket-sized manifesto presents the views of its author that should be the perspective more of us act on. That Jasko is currently putting together a book tour for is not to make political implications, but the idea of 2012 and is asking for help along the way. This is such growing one’s food extends beyond the mere beauty of a garden. As the first chapter explains, “Homegrown a worthy cause that in addition to offering to put an old friend up if she comes through Georgia, I kicked food tastes better, it’s fun and it’s cheaper” (pg. 9). in a few bucks for her Kickstarter plan. If you haven’t Inside the eight chapters simply titled: Know, Start, bought a copy of this easy-to-use and supremely valuGrow, Plant, Plan, Eat and Store, Jasko guides us each able book yet, please consider getting a copy as a gift in the hows-of gardening for life, liberty and the pur- for helping the book tour. suit of healthy food. Personally, Jasko sold me on the www.growindie.com idea as soon as I heard the title because I understand both the value of eating organic fruits and vegetables as well as the rising costs associated. Not to mention Review by Ellen Eldridge all the recent news of genetically modified organisms SPRING 2012 ISSUE
Memoir of a Mermaid: When, at last, he found me By Adrianna Stephano CreateSpace; May, 2012
This is Book one in the Memoir of a Mermaid series, so it sets up the main characters and those germane to the storyline, and perhaps the series as a whole, fairly early on. Namely, the characters of Seraphin Olivia Shedd, simply known as Phin to her housemate Ethan Cottington, a teacher known as Ms. Doreh Zebedee (or Ms. Z) and Ms. Z’s nephew. Joseph Merrick. You’ll want to pay close attention as many of the characters have more than one name/alias, and not all the characters are what they seem.
Indeed, the main character, Phin, seems a fairly normal, if somewhat isolated, 18 year-old girl for about the first third of the novel till it’s revealed that her nickname is also fitfolk are honorable. Though the ting, as she also has “fin” of sorts when she wills herself, etc. merfolk are frequently more powerful than the goonches (or huto turn into a mermaid. mans for that matter) as they are Without giving away too much able to not only breathe and quickof the plot, suffice it to say that she ly swim underwater as half fish, for is surrounded by other merfolk as all intents and purposes, but some well and even by some half human can also control the weather and and half merfolk beings often de- are great healers, etcetera. rogatorily called goonches. Yet the goonches play an integral role in the storyline, and not all the mer27
The most powerful of the merfolk being a male and female duo called the Guardians of the Sea. Plus, there are other interesting characters introduced to help further the plot like horrifying bird-like Sirens and the honorable Sons of Sailors. The action in this book basically culminates towards the end in a rather large scale showdown between a hideous Leviathan and the Guardians of the Sea with other characters taking sides onboard a ship and in the water. Central to the storyline is also the budding romance between the Guardians of the Sea, and though I’m not always one for a supernatural romantic read, it’s refreshing to have one that’s between merfolk—and not between vampires or witches—for a change. There’s also a great cliffhanger ending, which makes me eager to dive into the next installment, that’s to be released in January 2013 entitled Memoir of a Mermaid: When, at last, she came to see. memoirofamermaid.com Review by Gia Lee
Undead Tales Edited By Armand Rosamilia Rymfire eBooks; June, 2011
These aren’t your somewhat “teeters.” 2) “Till Death Do Us Part” comically endearing Shaun- by Scott M. Goriscak for portraying of-the-Dead type zombies in this anthology; rather, they live up to their billing in the title: They’re extreme! Like Armand Rosamilia points out in his introduction, “There’s nothing ‘pretty’ or ‘romantic’ about a zombie…” Yet, they’re also as varied as the different authors writing them, and though not really a romantic zombie tale, Rosamilia’s story titled “The Zombie with the Dragon Tattoo” does feature a rather sexy female zombie named Roxi, who’d been a stripper when still alive…. All the stories were well-written and entertaining, but the ones in addition to the aforementioned that really stood out to me for the uniqueness they bring to zombie lore are: 1) Chantal Boudreau’s “What a Man’s Gotta Do” because it showcases a human addict’s desperation in the face of what she terms the “infested” or
a new kind of zombie awakening, via electricity, etc. 3) “I Forget My Own Name” by JD Gillam because it’s told from a zombie’s point-ofview. Plus, the poetry by Rich Orth peppered throughout is fittingly perverse, yet strangely relatable. For example, in Orth’s poem titled “Zombie Preamble!” I didn’t feel it was a nonsensical neologism; rather, I found it believable as a reader, albeit in a willing state of disbelief/belief, with lines like those found on page 146:
If you like good gruesome zombie tales and poetry, then get a copy of this book where the nineteen different stories ultimately chosen were all conflated brilliantly together.
In this city of sin Where life is a gamble Heard my first rendition Of the Zombie preamble Now a minority rule Constitution theirs to change Review by Lucas McPherson We the Living Dead people In order to form a more perfect union No matter how deranged…
Hell Cometh By Armand Rosamilia Rymfire eBooks; June, 2011
If you’re a fan of good and endearing characters include exposition-rich reading, then Mert (a mentally challenged free spirit this debut novel of 378 pages is well worth diving into. You’ll be immersed in Card’s backwoods world of mainly Wise County Virginia where unforgettable characters come to life—or undead existence, in the case of the background zombie hordes. The both believable SPRING 2012 ISSUE
with a speech impediment, etc. who still manages to appreciate life despite his obvious afflictions), Christian (who ironically isn’t really one), Paula, Easy and Venus—to name just a handful. There are plenty more memorable ones as well in this also characterdriven book. See “Hell Cometh” next 28
Industry Secrets for Band Publicity - Interview Every musician struggling to start a band and get that band ’s name in front of all
By Ellen Eldridge
potential fans needs to know what to put in a press kit, what the labels look for as far as fans, merch sales & social media reach, and how to handle interviews. Heidi Ellen Robinson-Fitzgerald offers answers to common questions for musicians handling their own PR as well as insight on concert photography and prepping for interviews that can extend to any independent creative business. Even after more than 40-years, Robinson-Fitzgerald still loves being a publicist, and is of the opinion that the times we are living in today just have to be as exciting as were the days during the Industrial Revolution. Having surmised for years that the days of print were numbered, she has long been creating digital press campaigns for her clients. (http://www.herfitzpr.com)
You want to go for a photo that, when someone is flipping through a magazine or surfing the web, the picture reaches out and GRABS the viewer. He HAS to stop turning the pages to look at this photo. Five guys standing there looking at the camera with no expression, no personality, is a bore.
I always tell my artists that we need to walk away from a publicity photo shoot with 20-25 DIFFERENT LOOKING photos. If your campaign goes on for a year or more, you’ll likely need three non-exclusive PR photos. You’ll also need a wide variety of exclusive photos for magazines, newspapers and online outlets that will be doing features or cover stories, and these phoWhat do you advise independent bands put in a tos cannot look like all the rest, they HAVE to be difpress kit; do physical press kits hold more value ferent. And for international bands, the U.S., Canada, the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Japan, Australia, etc., over digital ones in any situation? etc., all want their own exclusive photos, so you canWe no longer create full-on, paper press kits. We will not supply a publicist with three approved photos for do a very basic “one-sheet” to accompany a CD, but the life of a campaign and think that a good job can it points press to the online press materials, and we offer a lot of info on our clients online. The basics for get done. Successful photo shoots cona press kit are: a band bio (that includes the names sist of three or four different set ups, of each player and what instrument he/she plays), and within every one of those set ups, lyrics, photos (complete with members’ ID and photographer credit), and a press release that announces the band members change positions, the project. Online, we also include tour dates, all in some photos some guys are sitting or standing or press releases announced over the course of a proj- crouching down, the band members should change ect, select reviews and features (text and video) that shirts or pants or add a jacket at least twice during are intended as a research aid for someone doing an that one set up. You’ve got to take solo photos of interview with the client, links to select tracks on the each band member, and photos of the guitarist with his guitar, the bassist with his bass, etc. And ALL of album and any promotional videos. the photos you take – band and solo – you need fullPhotos are really important, especially as the cache frame, waist up and head shots. And you need lots of of a band grows. When you kick off a band’s career or vertical shots as that’s what magazines run on their a new campaign, you want one image that “brands.” covers – NOT horizontal shots. And unless you’re doThe photo should be simple but should say someing an entire campaign in black and white, shoot evthing more than just what the band looks like. Alerything in color. though it’s a “still” photo, it should convey movement and personality and WHO the band is.
Should bands seek to get signed and when should Is it more important for an unsigned band to they hire a publicist? have a strong local following at shows or to sell If a band has a fat fan base and is proactive in stimulat- more merch/music online as far as publicity is ing that fan base, I’d say give the whole independent concerned? What do labels and publicists look at thing a shot. If an artist is able to build a respectable when promoting bands? fan base, organize fans into actively getting behind the band (demanding that the band be covered in a magazine on a site, be a guest on a TV show, play a video, whatever), and can show decent CD sales, that artist is in a much better bargaining position to negotiate a record or distribution deal. Personally, I think unless you’re already a multi-million-selling pop or urban star, a major label is not the way to go.
Three things I’d want to know before signing to any label or distribution company:
Everyone wants to win, to be associated with a project that is successful. As I detailed in question #2, a band who has demonstrated on its own that it can build and maintain a fan base – online or at shows or both – is a better “gamble” for any potential team member. What do you advice bands with regard to photo releases and what are the concerns bands should have with the music photographers promoting shows with pictures?
I’ve never been a supporter of having a photographer sign a contract before shooting a band, and these days when most of the audience is shooting the entire show with their iPhones and then posting the pho• What kind of budget will I have? tos on their Facebook or Flickr pages, contracts make even less sense. We issue photo passes to photogra• What exactly will you do to phers who are on assignment from a legitimate media promote my release? outlet that is reviewing the show. The photographer • What are your short and longmust have professional-grade camera equipment, in term goals for my project?” other words, no shooting with point-and-shoot cameras or a camera that is primarily a telephone. We’ve found – and admittedly, this IS a general statement – that people who shoot with iPhones or point-andshoots have no concept of “photo pit etiquette;” they A publicist is best brought on when there is some sort will put their elbows or possessions on the stage, they of consistency with the band – they’ll be doing a four- will smoke while they shoot, they will move around week residency in a town, or going on tour. There are the pit for different angles, but show no respect to the publicists who specialize in breaking a band from the other shooters, or they’ll just take advantage of having a photo pass and stand there watching the show. ground up on a local and regional level. We want to create an atmosphere that is conducive As a publicist, what are your standards/guide- to professional photographers who are doing a job. lines/rules for acts you will and will not promote? I am also not a fan of the “first three songs” rule, The make-it-or-break-it for me is working with an though I do agree that having a mass of photograartist who wants to work, who wants to do press, phers between the fans and the band for an entire who will agree to take advantage of the publicists’ show is an unfair distraction to those who’ve paid expertise. You just can’t get away with “I’m going money. Sometimes, it takes a few songs for a band to do ONE print interview, ONE online interview to get comfortable on stage, and sometimes it takes and ONE TV appearance for this entire project,” a few songs for a photographer to get the band’s or I only want to do Rolling Stone and SPIN. And, rhythm, and that can result in better photos. To get the artist has to have a good story, something that one good photo, you probably have to take 25 or 30 will be of interest to people, some way of making photos or more. ”First three songs,” to me, is like tella connection with potential fans, thereby launch- ing an artist he’s got two days to record a record, he ing a relationship with the press and the public. starts tomorrow, and it had better be good. SPRING 2012 ISSUE
A Brave New ‘Music’ World:
Financial Advice for An Ever-Changing Industry Having been on hiatus for several years from writing music industry articles, I briefly struggled with the topic of which to re-introduce myself to the music community with. A first consideration was a brand new article that provided a general consensus on my perspective of the current state of the music industry as it relates to the daily experience of musicians and recording artists.
By Dr. Kenneth Love
A second consideration was to address one of several subjects that I have previously covered, but which I feel still bears great consideration for musical artists. Ultimately however, I decided that the former was best fitting for a re-introduction. And, here we are…. A little over a year ago, I retired after twenty years of service (1990-2010) to the music industry and, more poignantly, representing musicians and recording artists as an international radio promoter, video promoter and media publicist in order to return to the artistry of my own music career. I had gone into these areas to assist other artists with success of their releases while also staying in tune (pardon the pun) with the music industry from behind the scene, so to speak.
And, to maintain my musical “chops,” I would occa- 1. Be Choosy – When either approaching sersionally venture back into the studio for a production vices or being approached by services, i.e., promotthrough the years, although I only released a couple ers, publicists, managers, agents, etc., exercise due of songs during the first decade of the 21st century. diligence through researching such services through the service’s past clients, its longevity in the industry, rates, commissions, and more. It is not enough But serving as an artist once again, I was witness to to simply take the service’s own “word” of its status quite a few more resources that spoke both to the in the industry. As an example, when releasing my positive and negative elements that now exist with- cAsE sEnSiTiVe Jazz CD last year, and not wanting to in the industry. Although more opportunities seem self-represent, I contracted outside promoters and to, indeed, exist for artists today, with a “capped” publicists for representation. One particular publicist budget it is very difficult to decide on which op- became at odds upon learning that I had requested portunities will result favorably while it is extreme- confirmations from several of its clients, presenting ly easy to make wrong choices and decisions that the idea to me that it was beyond questioning. can significantly impede an artist’s music career.
2. Create a “Reasonable” Budget –
Hence, and if I may, I would like to offer a bit of timeless financial advice that may best serve your While you don’t want to financially shortchange your efforts and interests, regardless of how the indus- ability to gain qualitative and quantifiable exposure try continues to evolve, for better or for worse. for your project, you also don’t want to experience the financial burden of a “bottomless money pit” in effect, whereby, you are 33 11
spending money with no budget “cap” or limit. Therefore, prior to starting your “cost” process, of which an external recording studio may be the first on your expense list if you don’t have your own home-based studio, your budget consideration should begin at this point, followed by amounts you appropriately and reasonably allocate to your post production phases that include, but are not limited to; manufacturing, marketing, promotion, publicity, and advertising.
In retrospect, upon my return as an artist to the music industry, I must admit to finding that very often, operating as a musician or recording artist in this brave new ‘music’ world can be akin to the risk of walking a dilapidated rope bridge over a 30-foot waterfall in pitch dark. In many instances, you simply are not absolutely sure where to place your next step (decision) until you have done just that…placed your next step (decided) on a solid plank (correct decision) and survived that step (succeeded). And,
going across that same bridge (past project) at a previous time (different era) is no assurance that the If your finances are limited, consider contacting musi- same solid planks (past resources) will still be in their cians in your area to barter, swap, or trade your musi- places (exist) to break a possible fall (possible failure). cal talents with their own possible recording projects. An example is, if you don’t currently have production software or equipment, but are a multi-instrumen- _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ talist, vocalist, etc., you could offer an exchange to a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ musician who does not have these particular talents but who may have the software and equipment that Editor’s Note: Dr. Kenneth Love is a retired internayou do not. This barter exchange could serve to save tional radio promoter, video promoter, and media you a good deal of money from costs that you would, publicist who now manages 1 Way Public Relations otherwise, incur in commercial studio production. (http://www.1waypr.com), which sends affordable Also, don’t limit your fellow musician contacts to your press releases to media for musicians and recording own genre or style of music, because you may find artists. Additionally, he is a Jazz recording artist, with that a Country artist can use your bass playing, even his music website at http://www.kennylovejazz.com. if you consider yourself a Rock bassist. A great place to seek like minded musicians in your area is Craigslist, local music instrument repair shops, or local music or arts and entertainment weekly newspapers.
3. Barter As Much As Possible & Often -
SPRING 2012 ISSUE
Latex and Cornflakes: Confessions of a Special Effects Artist An art degree might give you the ability to discuss Monet; it may give you an affinity for doodling with charcoal, but how often does it offer job security?
Hell, just ask Jonathan Thornton of Disturbing Images Effects (or D.I.E. for short). His major in broadcast communications has led to a professional career spent elbow deep in liquid rubber. As a special effects wizard, Thornton’s job is a cross-media extravaganza that combines drawing, painting, sculpting, and anatomy, with some light chemistry and carpentry. It’s a job that demands artistic prowess and analytical thought. Art, English, and music majors, any holder of a liberal So to all those frustrated art majors out there with a arts degree for that matter, can tell you that passion head full of brush strokes and no outlet, take note. doesn’t always translate to employment. Or, at least, There’s more than one way to see your name in lights. it doesn’t always translate in the way one imagined. Sometimes it leads to something unexpected, but just as good.
“I found that I had a knack for being able to create various characters using only pancake make-up.” How did you get started in While acting in plays, I found that I no, no, no; I had to do something had a knack for being able to create spectacular, something that would this line of work? Well I have always been a creative individual, even as a child I was always fascinated with monsters and make-up effects. In elementary school I would do my own makeup for Halloween parties and contests using basic items you could find at the local department stores, trying to imitate the monsters I would see on TV like the Wolfman, or some hideously scarred person, or even the Exorcist! This continued up through to my high school and college years. 35
various characters using only pancake make-up. From then on that was my job in drama class. On one assignment we were supposed to create a make-up of a character in history. My class mates would do something like Abe Lincoln (just add a cheap store bought wig and beard and suddenly you’re Abe Lincoln), or Babe Ruth (add a baseball cap….well you get the picture). I couldn’t be satisfied with that,
challenge me but still be historical. “The Elephant Man” was a popular movie at the time, so what better historical figure was there? I set about creating my first prosthetic make-up, not knowing what in the world I was doing. I did a crude sculpt on a wig form, made an even cruder mold, ran some slip cast pieces in basic liquid latex, and there it was. You have to remember this was way before the days of the internet, DVDs, or even video for that matter. Information, at the
time, wasn’t all that available. The only information I could find came from magazines like Fangoria or Famous Monsters of Filmland. It worked, sort of. Got me an A+, and really wasn’t too shabby for my first attempt. You said you started out teaching yourself before the days of the internet, but are there any online resources you would recommend now? Where do you go to keep up to date with new techniques?
actually function, the audience will pick up on that. Form must always follow function. Never stop sculpting and painting, never stop perfecting your craft. Was anatomy something you found necessary to study as a part of sculpting, drawing, and painting?
That is basically the first rule of sculpting…ANATOMY. If the anatomy isn’t right the audience will pick up on it, whether they realize it or not. All they will know is Well, the Internet has plenty of information out there; that something is off, which will bring attention to you just have to look for it. One of the best sites that I the fact that it is an illusion and will blow the “realfrequent often is The Effects Lab. It’s members range ity” of the illusion. Study books on anatomy (Gray’s anywhere from the beginner to the accomplished, Anatomy is a must – and I’m not talking about the professional make-up effects artist. Even Rick Bak- show). Books on aging are also good to see how graver has popped in a time or two to discuss FX work. ity affects skin and the human body in general, how wrinkles flow with the underlying muscle tissue, etc. There are so many different mediums to deal with: paint, latex, cornflakes…where does one focus first? What advice would you give to someone just starting out? Be creative but learn the basics, sculpting and painting, drawing. On top of that, and this is a must, perfect your technical skills, such as mold-making (the different ways to make molds, the many different materials to use, what is best for the job), foam running (what are the variables, how does temperature and humidity affect what you are doing), silicone (what are the different types, which one is best for the job, what are the inherent properties of each) and always be prepared. Learn to think on your feet.
Did you have an interest in painting and sculpting before you started doing special FX or was it something you had to develop after the fact? What is foam running? I have always been artistically inclined. I grew up draw- Many appliances today are made of a lightweight ing monsters and death scenes, corpses, and mum- material known as foam latex. It has been an inmies, Frankenstein’s monster, those sorts of things dustry standard for decades due to the fact that (which made my guidance counselor sit up and take it is light weight, is porous (so it breathes with notice quite a few times). I would sculpt, build models the skin), and is very soft and pliable yet sturdy. of monsters, paint, whatever I could. It was my release. To make an appliance you must first run a batch (foam As I got into the business, I quickly realized how impor- running) as it comes in many liquid components. tant sculpting and painting realistically was. There al- There is the foam latex base, the curing agent, the ways has to be some basis in reality and human anato- foaming agent, and the gelling agent. You mix all four my, whether it’s a dead corpse, or an alien from space, components in a mixer bowl, with an electric mixer. or a monster. It has to look believable, meaning that The components are added at various times, with the we as humans relate to what we know…muscles move mixer running at different speeds during the process. bone and skin. Same applies to fictitious monsters and characters: if it doesn’t look right or if it couldn’t The resulting compound is a fluffy, almost whipped SPRING 2012 ISSUE
Continued next page 36
cream appearing rubber that you load your molds with. Once the molds are loaded, you put them in a low heat oven for a period of time (the length of time all depends on how big your molds are) and bake them to vulcanize the foam rubber (or cure it) by baking all of the moisture out of the foam latex.
body, I try to make it as anatomically correct as possible. But sometimes a producer or director may want something ridiculous, like 50 gallons of blood to pour from a person (which is impossible) and
What is the creative process for creating a given effect? When a director says “I need to be able to do this now” how do you approach the problem?
When you are done, you remove the molds from the oven, let cool, and de-mold the appliance(s). You’ve said the FX are normally one of the first things to get cut from a budget during a production, has that sort of constraint ever proved to be beneficial to you from a creative standpoint? The only benefit that an FX artist can gain in that situation is learning how to be more creative. You have to execute the effect so as to not draw attention as to what it obviously is….a cheap effect. It’s a great learning experience. Also with less money for the production, less people get involved. You don’t have a committee of producers that you have to answer to, therefore freeing you up to be more creative. It allows you to have more artistic freedom, less hoops to jump through.
“We as artists tend to get too close to our art and sometimes we need to step back and realize that we are craftsmen being paid to do a service no matter how crazy it looks.”
the person live (which is even more preposterous). Or have their head be cut off by one swipe of a machete (Not gonna happen. I don’t care if it is the sharpest machete in the world with a samurai warYou’re tasked with doing a lot of rior wielding it, it just isn’t gonna scary/gory effects; does it help happen. It’s physically impossible). to be a horror movie fan? But it all looks good on camera, so Yes, but it has its drawbacks. When we have to put aside reality for a I’m asked to kill someone in a movie, for example, or make a dead 37
while and please the higher ups. After all, in the end it’s just a job. A fun job, but a job. We as artists tend to get too close to our art and sometimes we need to step back and realize that we are craftsmen being paid to do a service no matter how crazy it looks.
Usually, I begin by drawing out basic ideas, getting feedback from the director and whoever else is involved in the decision making, and from there I translate that into numerous sculpts (a basic 3D rendering). Always give them options. Then they will say, “Yes I like this part, but can you change this or add this to that…” Then after I make all of the changes and everything is approved, I commit it to the actual product: whether a sculpt for an appliance, makeup for a character, monster, injury simulation, etc. I try to get them to lock in a decision so that I can begin as soon as possible. What does an average day at the office look like for you? Are there any typical obstacles you have to face on a daily basis? The only obstacle I face on a daily basis is that there is not enough time in the day, which results in long days. Interruptions, such as having to run errands, interrupt
the creative flow and sometimes it takes a while to get that mindset back on track. Every day is different. Sometimes during the slow periods, I may spend the better part of the day making contacts and drumming up work. This means that I may be on the computer for long stretches of time, or I may be on the phone doing the same thing. Some days I start by answering emails and returning calls. That is on the days that I am not working on a particular project. If I’m not bogged down with a project, I usually spend the day catching up on old personal projects that I have fallen behind on. At any given time, I have at least three or more sculpts going. Practice all the time. Sometimes I just spend the day practicing painting techniques. Believe me it pays off in the long run. It is time well spent. Some days I spend the time researching new materials and techniques for future projects, or I design and make props, make-ups, masks, and sets for my Halloween show that I do at my house every year. I also make masks and props for haunted attractions, which keeps me busy. Or I make things to go in my portfolio just to keep it updated. There is always something to do at the shop. How do CG effects impact your work? Do you find yourself more in competition with it or more so working with/around it?
terplanetary. There are a number of gags and effects I did for the movie Kill Theory: fireplace poker through the eye, shovel to the head, hand cut off, face pounded by shovel…the chest skinning, creature make-up, and foot slicing from Home Sick. There are so many to choose from. I really had a blast working for all of the productions, but I must say that I really enjoyed my time on Kill Theory. I mean, they put me up in The French Quarter in New Orleans! What’s not to like?
Have you ever had a project that made you dread going into work? There are a few, but out of respect for the people involved, I will not mention the names of the productions. There were a number of technical problems that plagued these film projects that resulted in certain make-ups and effects not being up to par with the rest of my work. But the people I worked with were just wonderful, great friendships were forged and, despite many things not working right, they were all great learning experiences that taught me humility and how to roll with the punches. Always take something positive from your bad experiences.
More so working with it. As a matter of fact there has been so much bad CG in films as of late that a lot of directors are going back to the old school way of doing things, and that is with practical make-up effects. What is the future of practical FX in film? Do you think there will always be a demand or will technology take it over? There will always be a need and demand for practical FX. Actors, for one, do a better job when there is actually something there in front of them to react to. Also, CG isn’t cheap. When it is, it’s usually in some bad, made for the SY-FY channel movie. Of all the projects you’ve worked on, which one were you the most proud of? That is a tricky one. I like certain aspects of certain films that I have worked on. I like the reptilian alien suit that I made for very little money for the film InSPRING 2012 ISSUE
Rusty Cooley’s Fretboard Autopsy Learning guitar is often a journey of self exploration. Even if you’re taking lessons, the journey still exists, but you have your teacher as a guide. The serious guitar students will not only study the assigned homework, but they will seek further instruction with videos, books and fellow guitar players. With the Fretboard Autopsy videos (there are two), Rusty Cooley teaches his way of looking at the neck by going over a position-based system for modes, which is a little easier to digest for beginners. In reality, all the modes are relative to one major key, but without some training in music theory that can be confusing and hard to grasp. Cooley takes seven different shapes and attaches a mode to each shape. He also goes over some of his favorite tricks like “Note Groups of 9,” “Extended Sequences,” and “3 Octave Modes.” At the end of the video, Cooley talks about his live and studio gear and then an in depth interview with Joe P. of Rock House.
Fretboard Autopsy will surely please guitar shredders. A video of Rusty Cooley playing at ludicrous speeds is amazing in its own right, but, as a bonus, this video comes with lessons and so much more.
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Review by James Hester
Review by Danielle Boise
Apryl Skies Featured Poet An April sky is cloudy, unsettled, dark. You look up expecting rain... Should you even look up into the darkness? Should you be scared of someone called Apryl Skies?
is swinging in a tire hanging from a tree on a sunny day. The poetry of life is not found in the extremes at either end, but in the richness between. A can of peaches is sweet and delicious and after eating the peaches you drink the syrup. Love is a can of peaches. Or is it? Is there a life beyond the immediate words in this poem?
This is where interpretations—the writer’s, the narrator’s, the reader’s– can get tricky. The images of enjoyBy Victor Schwartzman ing domestic bliss are when she is asleep. What is her waking life like? Are there clues? Is cursing ‘excused’ because she lets Apryl Skies runs the website edgarallanpoet.com, herself relax or because Big Daddy gives permission? which raises the question of what tell-tale hearts may Are these are reasonable questions, if the image of lie beneath her floor boards. And make no mistake, her ‘love song’ is a ‘dirty dish rag’. there are tell-tale hearts beating beneath the floor All of the above questions are completely reasonable, boards of her poems. querying whether the poem is sarcastic, for the onWith that kind of introduction, it would appear that line versions of the poem. However, in “A Song Bedeath and despair are now inevitable. neath Silence,” the poem is published with a different Love Is A Can Of Peaches end. The final last line, after a space from the dishrag Handing out heartfelt The scene does seem stanza, is, in italics: like tires for swings Poetry is not novelty nor poverty but every grain of beauty and sadness that rests in between I dream of you where sun touches morning and gentle stars retreat I see you where soul crisps on the edge of a fiery football Sunday where cursing is excused (even for me) Who cares what the neighbors think? I place my fingers into the softness of flour and produce a perfect homemade pizza dough A dirty dishrag lies limply on the kitchen counter and this is my love song.
peachy! Morning sunshine, watching Sunday tv football games and cursing. Baking pizza. Cleaning up.
Tutto l’mio amore ora e per sempre…
One does not have to be fluent in a romance language to see that line as having something to do with love and affection.
Is this woman a Step- With this last line, the poem truly ford Wife? No. She is in is about love being peachy and love. There is no sign her partner is anything oth- that’s great. Without this last line, er than wonderful. She as in the Internet version, alternadoes the woman thing: joining him watching tive interpretations are possible. what he wants, cook- What a difference a line makes! ing, cleaning. He does the man thing: keeping In poetry, more than in any other written form, every track of the remotes, go- word counts! This does not mean her poems are ing out and shooting a about honest people. This is a woman who knows what she wants, knows what men cow for d i n n e r. Their life
The Masquerade A painted faced dame, curtained in curls of smoke, a lighted cigarette, creating her own alluring ambiance She batted lashes, puckered passions and winked kink, hoping to snag the last eligible stallion from across the velvet rope of competition. Fiona knew at an early age the novelty of glamour, for men respected beauty and wealth far more than honesty or matronly morals; lacking the latter might label a girl a Goddess, so she channeled Lili St. Cyr with flair and fascination. Eyes wander provocatively, further proving her philosophy Fantasy finding her far from constrained and far from alone Shiny red lips lie, mocking manhood with wild moans, cleverly concocted climaxes tell tales of tempting taunts She was sure he did not mind the act… After all, it was clearly one of her best performances.
want, and knows how to get men to want what she wants them to want to get.
the one night stands? Does she get off more on the sex or the manipulation? Is love a battlefield? No matter what the answers, this is pretty far from a can of peaches. Somehow it does not feel as if Fiona ever touched a dishrag. She probably never baked a pizza in her life. The heart beating beneath this poem is hard and angry and lives alone.
Neither “Peaches” nor “Masquerade” can prepare you for the following poem.
On first reading, it appears to be an entire speculative fiction novel That said, it is hard to tell what (but better written than most, and sort of life this woman enjoys. It shorter.) ain’t pretty. She cynically assesses men and lures the stallions, to Another Vineyard judge them. The lucky stallion has In the distance a great time thinking he has translies a fragrant vineyard, ported her to ecstasy, but it is hard rowed and hedged, to tell whether she feels anything. The twisted vine of passion’s toil Her wild moans are really taunts. hammered-down the demons Worse, although her excitement of yesterday’s desires are arousal are an act, perhaps he to feathered angels, does not mind because he does bloodied by thorn, not realize it, the performance is calloused by word… that good. More questions are raised than answered. Who has snagged the other stallions, so there are only a few left? What kind of life does this woman have when faking climaxes is just “one” of her best performances? Does the masquerade extend to everywhere in her life? Does she have a stable relationship or does she just “enjoy” one night stands? And does she enjoy
Somewhere near the rocking tides and horse-galloping sands; awakened as night blooms, an ocean-winded quiet soothes on a lonely moon-shadowed path, jaded serene, a journey traveled only by silhouettes… In another vineyard, blossoms turn toward
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your sunflower eyes, watching with dagger-pierced heartfire… Once, meadows bloomed only for you, but now in the sun-turned warmth of a distant soul-fire, they fade from jewel to gray and astray are my thoughts under this blackened starlight, coloring every cloud with curious wonder… Where are the dragons you promised? Are they made only of stone? Hidden in depths of tear-stained parchment, torn pages and fragile fingers Words unseen scrolling under the scowls of a lucid heaven… Even words have become weary of my song, for there is only one I can sing under this sky and I wait alone, knees to chest, heart to home, all tears to heaven… You told me once that dragons dance the clouds… But their magic has burned my hands and I have gone blind. Is it done. The world has forgotten my name, the candle of my days ~snuffed~ a number pulled from shipwrecked shores A copper mirage of quiet shimmer echoes a distant laughter over the crest of rolling, brush-darkened hills, and in another vineyard where flowers bloom and fruit smiles, ripened, your eyes turn without hesitation, they turn from gray to jewel…
On first reading, this poem appears to be all Game of Thrones. Technically, however, there are no actual dragons, nor is there any magic. Skies has played with you. All the parchment and dragons and candles and vineyards have you thinking of Frodo.
being playful, imagining an early wild passion. But an interesting feature of Skies’ writing, as seen in the other poems, is that there can be more than one interpretation, and that is because of those ol’ tell-tale hearts beating underneath the floorboards.
That fantasy feeling is aided by the language, by the short lines rolling with a rhythmic flow that feels like a river of colourful language. Beyond the language is a love (or lust) story which ends in disaster, with only memories left (and maybe twins)? She was promised excitement and glory—those are the dragons, but they had no wings. Mr. See You Tomorrow is off in some lovely vineyard while her own candle is snuffed and her name gone. He’s there and she’s here. Yet she imagines his eyes turning to jewels.
What if a reader brought a darker frame of mind to this same poem? Would it still be pleasant?
Dear Charles, I wonder if I went back in time to rewrite history all in rhyme might we have met in a salacious bar and made dirty love beneath the stars? Waking up wrapped in hotel linen tasting lips still stained with gin I ponder how my name might sound from your tongue with words profound Would I become a tawdry poem, your desire, an insatiable, cursed omen, master, beast, A Dog From Hell seductions of some wicked spell?
“Take these words and eat them” goes beyond taunting. Our narraDon’t leave me yet, I have not said tor and her lover are getting ready all I wish to proclaim before bed take these words and eat them, for bed. She sarcastically reviews like the fabric beneath my ruffled hem~ their lives by rewriting history (and in rhyme, no less, which adds to the feeling the words are insincere). It appears there was never passion in their relationship if she had to invent it. They never went to a cheap hotel, had wild monkey sex and then woke up happy, with gin and big grins on their lips. What kind of relationship do they have? Have they ever had? Being a ‘tawdry poem’ is one thing. But look at the rest of the language: bad omens, wickedness, dogs from hell. These are not cheerful images she conjures, but look into an underlying darkness.
While the language is lush it is also full of despair. Her heart is broken and she is crying out to him but he He’s about to leave. Is he going to the washroom or out the door? Her words are driving him away. Her final comment? Eat my words, and, for is not listening. that matter, eat my shorts. These three poems are different in voice, style, approach. It would ap- One of the joys of good poetry is that it invites differing interpretations pear that Ms. Skies has more than (even when, deep down inside, you know there is only one ‘right’ interone thing to say, and more than pretation). one way to say it.
Love can be peaches, then specious, then leeches. What does that teach us? The author says (and her opinion counts for something!) that this is a pleasant scene between lovers. The poem can certainly be read that way, where the woman is
Perhaps Skies might say that if there is a solution to relationship woes and wars, it is to be confident... but also wary. Look for more of her poetry on our website as Skies was the featured poet for May this summer. Fans can also find other amazing poets alongside Apryl Skies at www.edgarallanpoet.com.
Rob Sacchetto What is it about the disgustingly disturbing that attracts us to art? The anxiety over a possible Mayan/Zombie Apocalypse this year has brought zombies, vampires and all sorts of life-destroying creatures to the forefronts of society’s rotting brain matter. Our Spring 2012 issue, set to publish on June 15, pays homage to some of the artists, authors and poets involved with the darker side of creativity. Our May featured artist runs a business where anyone can turn himself or a loved one into a zombie. In fact, he turned our editor-in-chief into a zombie (above left) and you can become one of the walking dead by visiting Zombie Portraits too. In 2006, Rob Sacchetto started an online service in which he hand-painted people as the living dead, called Zombie Portraits. People simply send him a jpeg of themselves or a loved one and he illustrates them as zombies using traditional means with no computerized photo-shopping. The customer receives a high resolution jpeg, and receives the original in the regular mail. So far, Sacchetto has zombified over 2000 people all over the world!
Dead Exposed.” Sacchetto’s Zombie Portrait service also caught the attention of noted zombie author Jonathan Maberry, which led him to include Sacchetto as a named character in his book “Rot and Ruin.” When he began feeling that he wasn’t drawing Sacchetto also created the chase card illustrations for enough zombies, he started Zombie Daily, a blog that book and his follow-up “Dust and Decay.” where he posts a new original zombie drawing or painting every day! This site was started in 2008 and, Sacchetto is featured in the documentary “Zombieso far, there are over 1100 posts and counting as Sacmania,” and he provided the morphing zombie porchetto still updates with new content on a daily batrait drawings for himself and the other noted zomsis. The formation of Zombie Daily led the publishing bie experts who were interviewed, including George company Ulysses press to offer him two book deals: Romero, Tom Savini, Max Brooks and Greg Nicotero. one for “The Zombie Handbook:How to Identify the Sacchetto’s zombie art has been licensed for use on Living Dead and Survive the Coming Zombie Apocaeverything from puzzles to skateboard decks and lypse,” and his next book, “Zombiewood:The Celebrity many other products. SPRING 2012 ISSUE
trait drawings for himself and the other noted zombie experts who were interviewed, including George Romero, Tom Savini, Max Brooks and Greg Nicotero. Sacchetto’s zombie art has been licensed for use on everything from puzzles to skateboard decks and many other products. What better way to celebrate the subculture of horror while still expressing a creative drive, and the business sense is truly inspiring for all independent artists. Please do take the time to look more closely into the work of Rob Sacchetto and consider a Zombie Portrait for a friend in celebration of the apocalypse…or Halloween if you’re a cynic.
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Featured Artist Joey DAMMIT! Love them, hate them; endorse or revile them, celebrities turn heads. What catches the eye most? Well, besides an image of the viewer himself (because let’s face it; if it’s about us then we want to know all about it), people are drawn to icons and celebrities – especially after they fall from grace. Joey DAMMIT! uses mixed media in a collage-pop approach to his art. His love-hate relationship with mass media forged from a background in advertising allows him to draw out the layers of genius that made us fall in love with icons from beneath layers of selfloathing, neglect, abuse, and overindulgence. In 2009, this premier Canadian pop artist unleashed his “a visual obituary, all in spectacular pop-technicolor” at The Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, appropriately enough from “Valentine’s Day” on February 14 through the 26th.
Fear the Reaper Or: How Icons Met Their Maker” was inspired by the Stanley Kubrick film, “Dr. Stranglove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” but his work extended to a point of premonition when he decided to sketch Amy Winehouse’s demise before the event. From pioneers of all sides of art from Jackson Pollock to author Virginia Woolf who walked out into the waves to Hunter S. Thompson who shot himself and asked to have his ashes
shot out of a canon to music legends John Lennon and The Beatles to Sid and Nancy, “the IT couple” and into the barrel of Kurt Cobain’s shotgun. DAMMIT! also forays DAMMIT!’s obsession with the darker side of into the film world capturing Marilyn Moncult celebrity as seen in the show titled, “Don’t roe sandwiched between Kennedy broth57
ers, James Dean, and Heath Ledger. The “Superman curse” and Princess Di’s demise are etched into artwork as well. The expressive nature of these celebrities as seen through the eyes of death himself is what makes Joey DAMMIT!’s work so enrapturing – like watching a car crash unfold when the driver knows he just pull off the highway to avoid getting involved. Perhaps, that is what these celebrities represent to the masses. We live vicariously through their antics, their self-loathing with all the catharsis brought by the music, film, and writing, but without the chaos fame brings. We escape the death, but we watch with judgmental eyes asking how could so-and-so do that to himself. Find more at http://www.joeydammit.com/
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ART & POETRY
featured poet: Alicia Winski
Does Bleeding on the Page Make For Great Poetry? No, usually, bleeding on the page makes for grating poetry. Then there is Alicia Winski. “Call Me Baby” is Who’s Your Daddy? one of the quiWhisper to me in the dark, etest of Winski’s …come ‘ere little child tell me that you care, poems, yet it is let’s see what ya got you know what it is. touch me sweetly, harrowing. The Oh, I like it a lot… hold me close, narrator is deslet me know you’re there… perate for any af- Come give me some sugar, fection her ‘lover’ just a little bit of love. Let me call you little names; might provide, I’ll give you somethin’ special, lovingly spoken, soft and true even a word. though it might be a bit rough… and maybe, Why does it read if I whisper “Baby”… as if he is not But, I know you won’t mind you’ll surrender even awake, that and I know you won’t tell, I know you know better, to my quiet plea she is whispering yeah, I know you real well… and call me, to him while he “Baby” too. is snoring? She I know where you live has to make a and I know where you sleep ‘quiet plea’ for him to call her Baby? “Let I know where you play me” call you cute names? Maybe he will, and the secrets you keep… if you fetch him a beer. The narrator’s unSee, I am called Daddy derlying desperation haunts the lines. Call Me Baby
Why is she with this turkey? Perhaps she sees him as a project. If so, she won’t live long enough to complete the remodeling. This woman needs to find someone who does not need instructions on how to be caring. In the hands of a lesser poet, a woman talking to her lover would be charming, a rant, perhaps even wistful. With Winski there is throbbing underneath the words. She does not simply describe her own experience, if that is what she does. She respects the reader, and herself. She gives the reader something be-
and you’ll call me yours, you give me your tears, I fill you with fears…
Now, some call it pain, but I call it love and our lil secret ain’t no business of… …the ones you call “caring” the ones you call “friend” I’ve told you that over and over again. So just you believe that, now gimme a kiss, then you lay yourself down while I give you this…
yond her experience, which is one reason why she writes not diary entries but poems. Now get ready for a monster. The partner the narrator speaks to/of in ‘Baby’ is a sweetheart compared to this guy: Talk about poems which are poles apart in style and content. ‘Baby’ is subtle, ‘Daddy’ a sledgehammer. ‘Baby’ feels is an intimate poem, ‘Daddy’ an ‘issues’ poem. ‘Baby’ is narrated by a ‘victim’, ‘Daddy’ a victimizer. One narrator is probably being abused, the other is an abuser. The narrators’ voices are wildly different. But despite the differences (and usually two poems this different would be written by two different poets–few writers can stretch like this), there are common threads. Both are narrated poems. Both are issues poems. The first narrator asks for lovetalk of any kind, while the second speaks love-talk twisted horrendously. Then there are the silent voices in
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The Great Escape
both poems: the sleeping bed partner and the child suffering horrific abuse. Those other two characters are drawn in some depth even though they never speak a word, and despite the limitation of seeing them through the narrator’s eyes. If Winski wrote a blunt essay about the tragedy of child abuse, it would not be as effective as ‘Daddy,’ a truly nasty little poem. And what happens to Daddy’s victim when she grows up? What does she feel towards not only the abuser, but those who stood by who she was entitled to rely on the most? The answer lies in “The Great Escape.” The nakedness and power of this poem are overwhelming. It pictures a human tragedy.
The narrator suffered a childhood of abuse. Anyone who thinks such a child will ‘just get over it somehow’ should read this poem. The more it is read, the more raw it becomes. Things are getting rather serious here. Isolated, desperate adults, abused children, unresolved mother anger that will go on for eternity. More work by Alicia Winski can be read at Edgar Allan Poet http://edgarallanpoet.com/Alicia_Winski.html
Goddamn you– Slipping out the easy way, leaving behind nothing more than recrimination, condemnation, vile, vicious accusation of the family you divided with your Nazi-like ideology, separating the pure from the impure, your own personal war crimes against your blood, and yet I can’t walk past your door without wanting to call in, “Hey, mother, how are you doing?” knowing damn well I’d hear nothing more than complaints of pain and dark ponderings of death lightened only by the occasional chirp of laughter making the whole dismal conversation worth that one precious moment of normalcy, when I could call you “Mom” without qualm or reservation Where did you go to, that woman I thought I knew? Are you finally in hell or lying in limbo waiting for a redemption you’ll never receive? Perhaps you’re simply a noxious vapor in the air, slowly poisoning the innocent and pure of heart as you did of those you spawned; and yet … why is it I miss you? Is it because you were the only constant in the world of a lost little girl used and abused by those you gave your silent permission to? Could it be because of the, oh, so occasional, walk about town, when you held a tiny hand, tolerating girlish chatter in rhythm with the high heels clicking down a flawed, cracked sidewalk? (such an appropriate path for you and I!) I walk alone now through a house grown emptier by the moment, fingers trailing over dusty remnants of your life, contemplating all the lies spoon fed to me from birth, stopping at the foot of your cold bed, a bed you were deprived of at death, whispering “I miss you so much” to a mama that never existed
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Our summer issue will celebrate our five years in business that became official May 5, 2012. We will feature two bands that we featured our first year: Pasadena and Groove Stain. We sincerely thank all the readers, fans, writers, musicians and artists of all genres who have continued to keep us inspired. If you would like to contribute to an upcoming issue -- we publish quarterly on the 15th of March, June, September and December -- or if you are interested in advertising with us, please contact Editor-InChief Ellen Eldridge at email@example.com We are always looking for interns, fine artists and poets to feature as well as writers who have professional experience in marketing. The main goal of Target Audience Magazine is to help all independent artists earn a living from what they do.