Radio Phoenix Podcast: Jerusafunk

jerusafunk 001Those klezmer crusaders known as Jerusafunk dropped by the Radio Phoenix studios and now the podcast is available in all its deliciousness. We talk all sorts on the new record The Hierophant, the upcoming J-Funk tour, and try to find out all we can about band member side projects. Not only that, they brought in some fantastic tracks from some fantastic local bands and, as always, the complete playlist can be found below.

Now then, make sure to catch Jerusafunk perform as the in-house band for Pan Productions’ The Goblin Kings City, a live stage musical adaptation of the 1986 film Labyrinth. Only a few show dates left for that so click here for more info on how to score tickets. You should also check out The Hierophant Album Release Party with Nick Perkins Band, Zach Alwin & Duck Funk, and DJ Mitch Freedom at the Crescent Ballroom on June 15 because you KNOW that’s gonna’ be a funkysweet time.

Tune in every first and third Wednesday at 7 PM for The YabYum Hour, only on Radio Phoenix.

Complete Playlist

Jerusafunk “Gateway Movement”

Qais Essar “Maste Mange Bar”

The Stakes “Master Blaster (Jammin’)”

Sun Ra “Song No.1”

Sun City Girls “The Shining Path”

Lucas Pino “The Fox”

Marty Robbins “Big Iron”

Man-Cat “Chemicals”

Sunn Trio “Songe Too”

_

Recorded live on May 17, 2017

Top 5 Shows of the Week: May 26 – June 1

Lots of rad shows happening this week in addition to what we got here. You can check out more shows happening in the Phoenix Metro Area on our Upcoming Shows page here! You can also click on the show flyers below for more information about those events!

Music Video Premiere: “Lonesome” by Dadadoh [premiere + interview]

We’re super stoked to be the first to share this sweet new music video from local hip hop legend Dadadoh. We even got a chance to chat with the man behind the music (and music video) about all the shizz coming from his camp this year.

But, first, we want to give you inside eye on the music video for “Lonesome”. The track itself feels more atmospheric than your usual hip hop jam and that’s part of the reason we dig it. “Lonesome” is where Dadadoh gets into one of his more meditative moods and that musing quality echoes the emotional implications of the track’s title.

Check out the music video and the continue on below to read our Q&A with Dadadoh about the making of “Lonesome”, the fact behind the fiction, and what’s next for PHX’s favorite musical hustler. Oh, btw, make sure you have Radicalhere – the album from whence this track came – in your own personal collection (available ).

YabYum: So, first of all, I’d like to know more about the making of the video. Who directed it? And did you have additional help from any key players to bring the new video to life?

The ideas behind my videos are so specific that I really couldn’t imagine anyone else directing them other than myself. My ideas are never set in stone. They’re really just rough blueprints of what-ifs that I’m always expecting to evolve into something else later down the line.

I’m over performance shots in hip hop videos. I mean how many ways can you shoot a video looking into a camera and mouthing the lyrics. The concept has been beat to death in my opinion so when it came to making my next video I wanted something that was more of a film than a commercial for my song.

Andy Warpigs had just released his video for “Everybody Likes You Now” and I loved the feel of that video. I found out it was shot by this really cool cat named Indy Prince. I reached out to them and tried to explain this crazy idea I had and, fortunately, for me they were totally down to help me make it happen.

It looks like the new music video might be continuing the tale that we first got a glimpse of in your last music video. So, I have to ask, is this narrative entirely fictional?

This video is definitely another chapter in the same universe as my last video. Hip Hop has so many unspoken rules and I’ve always felt that those limitations have hindered the art form at times. I try to play with those sensitive areas in my visuals. I can’t really confirm at this time what’s real and what isn’t but I can assure you that the truth will come out in the end of the narrative.

The single featured in this video came from your last album, Radical. Where did you record the songs for that collection?

I’ve been producing music for myself and other TVLiFE Entertainment artists at my home studio that I’ve coined “Jamarvin’s Room” in Tempe, AZ since 2012. The entire thing took thirteen months before it got wrapped in cellophane and I finally had the release party on my birthday last year.

You perform as Dadadoh but you’re also involved in other musical projects. Mind enlightening all who might not have the full Dadadoh-music-hustle picture just what you’re up to these days?

I wrote and recorded a song for the evangelistic rap group 20 Ft. Neon Jesus awhile back that should be on their next album. I just shot a concert film for Red Tank! that I’m really excited for the people to see. We’re in pre-production on the next two MC/DC projects. I engineered and played percussion on Andy Warpigs next two albums. I’m working on an EP with Indy Prince (who you can hear wailing like an old black lady on Andy’s “Dog Ate My Dope” single).

Ricky Smash and I just spent two months recording and releasing a new project called They Don’t Think It Be Like It Is But It Do by our band Exxxtra Crispy that I’m really excited about. I also DJ for this super cool femcee called Bert who’s ill! I put on a women’s event four times a year called Women Only that gives new female artists a platform to perform and connect. I started a podcast called “Before The Show” that is currently recording its third season and that will be released soon.

What’s next on your itinerary? You’ve already been in a feature film, directed your own music video, and put out some killer music. I want to know what else Dadadoh has on his bucket list?

I’ve been working on my stand up movie for awhile now and I think it’ll be done by the end of the year. I’m also working on booking a summer tour for 2018 where I want to get overseas and I plan to release my next album right before that tour.

I’m playing with the idea of re-recording some songs I’ve already released as a full band where I play all the instruments as well.

I’m mixing a cover I recorded that I’ll send to the When In AZ Vol. 2 compilation when it’s done.

We start production on the next Exxxtra Crispy album next week and I’m hyped on where we’re going to take that sound next.

I’m looking for more radio, television and movie placements in my future too. Hell, if I haven’t done it and it seems borderline impossible, then consider me all in.

 

5 Stellar Indie Singles

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

The Fuzzy Crystals

“The King is Dead”

Are you ready for the transcendental expierence that is The Fuzzy Crystals? These spaced-out pysch rockers from California (where else?) create a dynamic sound that will have you wandering through the acidic flower fields of our hippie parents’ memory mindspace with their new single, “The King is Dead”. If you feel like you might have missed out on Woodstock, I suggest delving into The Fuzzy Crystals right away.

Swellshark

“Numb + Insensible”

How should we describe the music of the musical duo known as Swellshark? Sweet and somber? Lonely but playful? Sad and happy? It seems like all the words apply when listening to “Numb + Insensible”. Shélan O’Keefe and Henry Kellam (aka Swellshark) fuse together a buoyant indie folk sound with pensive lyrics that seek to root out all those insecurities you sought to subjugate. The pair are heading out on tour this coming June so check with Swellshark to see if they have a stop in your neck of the woods. For us in Phoenix that means The Trunk Space on June 3rd so mark your calendar!

Joy Downer

“Stranger Places”

The husband and wife team behind Joy Downer [Jeffrey Downer and Joy Bishop] are originally from San Diego but they recently made the jump to Hollywood. “Stranger Places” takes that casual Pacific air and adds some L.A. production for a super fun summer single. This track comes to us from the duo’s EP, Radio Dreamer, which was recorded and produced by Rob Kolar at his Echo Park studio. Check out the single from Joy Downer below &/or head here for the complete Radio Dreamer EP.

Loyal Wife

“We Notice Homes When They Break”

There’s something nostalgic about that early indie sound “popularized” in the 90s by alt-rock bands that had too much buoyancy in their sound for grunge. It definitely feels like Loyal Wife has continued the tradition on their new single, “We Notice Homes When They Break”. Loyal Wife has that bright bummer rock thing down and I’m totally digging it. Check out the single, available through Sunset Alliance Records, below…

Shadowgraphs

“Eastern Holiday”

This psych-rock act from North Carolina is passing through Phoenix in June and all you locals are not going to want to miss out on the vintage sound of Shadowgraphs. “Eastern Holiday” starts off with a bit of Western amble before giving way to a mellow and nostalgic rocknroll that is quite enchanting. Give “Eastern Holiday” a spin below and then be sure to check in with the Shadowgraphs’ complete tour schedule (through Facebook).*

*This sentence was modified from its originally published content because some writer got a show date wrong. The jury is out on whether to blame the band or the staffer. Trial to begin at noon.**

**That was a joke. There’s no “trial” other than trial by combat and that always starts promptly as dusk.

7 Rad Music Videos: The Folk & Alt-Country Edition

Tall Tall Trees
“SeagullxEagle”

KaiL Baxley
“Killin’ Floor”

Slings & Arrows
“That Was Me Then”

Joe Marson
“Gotta Be Good”

Tally Spear
“Wrong  Side of the Road”

Mason
“Rockstar Paperboy”

Alice Wallace
“I Just Don’t Care Anymore”

Shooting Musicians: Going Behind the Lens with Bill Goodman and Elaine Campbell

shooting musicians 04
All photos courtesy of Bill Goodman and Elaine Campbell. Photo by Bill Goodman

by Frank Ippolito
Staff Writer

Photographer Daniel Corrigan was there shooting musicians when the scene in Minneapolis exploded. Taking photos of Prince, The Replacements, Babes in Toyland, and more. Jenny Lens was one of the few photographers chronicling the early punk scene in both North America and London. Charles Peterson’s influence on rock photography rests in his coverage of the Pacific Northwest music scene – primarily Seattle’s – during the late 1980s through early 90s.

Photograph historians. Hometown shooters chronicling the life of musicians. Without these, and certainly many others, the very history of those music communities, as well as thousands of others, would be lost.

Take a second, close your eyes, and picture Bob Dylan. Kurt Cobain. Stevie Nicks. Imagine your favorite musician. Yep, there it is. And thanks to someone with a camera, that image will be etched into your mind forever.

shooting musicians 05
Photo by Elaine Campbell

Every day my social media feed is flooded with images of local Phoenix musicians who played the very night before. And because of three, now two, dedicated and passionate photographers – who sometimes visit 3 venues in a night – I can relive the music through their photos.

And remarkably, night after night, Bill Goodman and Elaine Campbell shoot the bands for free. Nada. Zero. Zip. And then post them on their social media feeds. For free.

One of the reasons they do it, I’ve come to understand, is because they love music as much as they do photography. They hold musicians near and dear to their hearts. So, they shoot and share. And if you’ve seen any of their work, it is beyond captivating. Sometimes in color. Sometimes in black and white. But always stunning.

At this point, I would be neglect to mention the late Tony Zeimba. Ziemba died fighting cancer. He was one of the first band photographers I had met when I first started playing. Not a finer photographer, in or out of the studio in my opinion, has ever pushed the shutter.

shooting musicians 11
Photo by Tony Zeimba

I caught up with Goodman and Campbell, (in between running to a show, of course), and asked them to give me a glimpse of where they came from and why do it.

Frank Ippolito: At what age did you first start taking photos?

Elaine Campbell: Earlier this year (2017).

Bill Goodman: I was fascinated with my parents’ Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera when I was around 12 or so. I didn’t get into shooting more seriously until much later. I was in my 30s.

Tell me, what was the first camera you owned?

EC: Canon6D.

BG: Canon T-70 35 mm SLR purchased at a pawnshop

shooting musicians 01
Photo by Bill Goodman

Have you ever shot in a studio?

EC: No.

BG: No.

(These answers fascinate me because it even makes their photos in natural light even better.)

When did the connection between photography and music strike you?

EC: Watching Tony in the last 10 years.

BG: I think it was around 2003 when the newly opened Stinkweeds’ Central Phoenix location started a Blues Brunch music event on Sundays at noon. Mikel Lander became my first regular subject at that event.

Can you recall the very first show you photographed?

EC: Mr. Mudd & Mr. Gold CD release party.

BG: I Think it was a show at The Modified Arts down on Roosevelt. I can’t recall who it was.

shooting musicians 06
Photo by Elaine Campbell

Most shows you shoot only have stage lighting, how do you manage to create such great images?

EC: I don’t know (laughs).

BG: A lot of trial and error, and the fact that digital cameras have gotten so much better in that area. My first shows were shot with High speed black and white film. Digital, at the time, was not as good as film in low light.

To me, you both are photo historians of Phoenix. Would you characterize yourselves as such?

EC: I never did, but so many people have mentioned it independently that maybe there is something to it.

BG: I can’t speak for Elaine, who shoots way more than me, but I think that initially for me, it was more of an adventure, trying to capture what I was seeing and hearing. It was harder a decade or so ago, and I felt challenged. I’ve done it for so long now that it isn’t as hard for me, so it has finally sunk in recently that my role is as of a documentarian wherever I go.

How do you feel about your role within the music community?

EC: Just trying to let the people who do not go to shows to understand that the Valley has an amazing music scene.

BG: Again, I think documentarian is a good description. I also feel it is a good way to pay back the music scene for all the great experiences over the years. I’ve seen a lot of great shows, many for free, over the years. I feel very privileged to have been present for so much great music.

shooting musicians 12
Photo by Tony Zeimba

Bill, you share a common bond with another photographer, Tony Ziemba, who just recently passed away from cancer. Can you describe your relationship with him?

BG: Tony was a real unique guy. He shot purely for the joy of it. I don’t think he ever took a dime for anything he ever shot, and his stuff was so good. I think the music community really misses him. He was a kind, gentle spirit. We do share some of the same reasons for doing what we do. I mostly do it for fun. I do occasionally get compensated for some stuff that I shoot that is specialized.

Elaine, you were married to Tony, how did he come to photographing bands?

EC: Music was Tony’s soul. He started shooting at a very young age when there wasn’t digital. He stopped for a while when work and family took priority. When we started going to see more music, that passion returned. Honestly, when he was so ill due to the cancer, the music healed his soul.

What did he teach you about concert photography?

EC: He hated pictures of musicians with the microphone in their faces.

shooting musicians 02
Photo by Bill Goodman

Without playing favorites, which bands are some of your favorites to shoot?

EC: Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra, Haymarket Squares, Sistah’s Too, Mike Eldred Trio, VooDoo Swing, Royal Crown Review, Phat Cat Swinger, Two Toned Lizard Kings. It’s fun to shoot a band that has some movement.

BG: I can’t think of any specific bands today. I like a lot of stuff… In the past I had a couple of favorites that no longer exist. What Laura Says and Mergence come to mind. I really miss both of those bands.

Favorite place to shoot?

EC: Anywhere the lighting is good. Crescent Ballroom, MIM, outdoor festivals, Rhythm Room, Desert Botanical Gardens.

BG: On a good night, It’s hard to match Last Exit Live for its lighting. It makes it look like I know what I’m doing. I however tend to prefer the dark, moody places, best. The Lost Leaf is a favorite of mine for its atmosphere. The always moody red light forces me to shoot monochrome in there, with generally good results. And I just like the place.

shooting musicians 06
Photo by Elaine Campbell

_

P.S. After a couple of days, I came back to this piece with this realization: The reason Bill and Elaine’s photos drip of raw emotion and energy is due to the fact they are shooting for the pure love of shooting the music, without worry about getting paid.

So, the next time you’re on stage, and you feel the stare of a camera lens, it’s probably one, or both, doing what they love to do, documenting you, doing what you love to do. So, give them some love, back, just sayin’.

~

You can contact Elaine (phxgirl_1@yahoo.com) and Bill (fotosbill@gmail.com) through email.

shooting musicians 10
Photo by Tony Zeimba
shooting musicians 03
Photo by Bill Goodman
shooting musicians 07
Photo by Elaine Campbell
shooting musicians 08
Photo by Elaine Campbell
shooting musicians 09
Photo by Elaine Campbell

The Tastemaker’s Ten: Steve Ostrov

Local musician and tastemaker Steve Ostrov is a straight-shooter by day and punk-rocker with a penchant for pedals come night. Check out Steve’s stellar list of singles he thinks every music-lover should hear below and then head to Chopper John’s this coming Friday to see him perform live with his band, The 16 Eyes. More info on that event can be found here.

 –

John Trubee
“Peace & Love (Blind Man’s Penis)”

Five minutes to write a terrible poem. A lifetime to enjoy the results. This is what happens when a bored teen reads too much. Anyone could have done this, but John thought of it before the rest of us. Read the incredible story here.

Bobby Parker
“Watch Your Step”

This song from 1961 inspired too many rock songs to count. How many do you hear?

Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis
“Pots And Pans”

Eddie’s sax is swinging hard, but Shirley Scott’s Hammond work is what really shines on this cut. I wish more jazz sounded like this!

Race Marbles
“Like A Dribbling Fram”

A zany “Zimmy” send up by a Canadian DJ. Or is this the embryonic beginning of rap? The lyrics are pretty ridiculous, but the understated music is really cool.

The Dickies
“Where Did His Eye Go?”

An unlikely target for punk rock ridicule. Sorry, Sammy, but this is how you write lyrics! THE DICKIES SHOULD HAVE RULED THE WORLD!!!

Django Reinhardt
“Appel Direct (Appel Indirect)”

So simple and yet brilliantly weird, and menacing. Django did more with 2 fingers than most guitarists can do with all 10 and a music degree.

The Jolly Green Giants
“Busy Body”

Killer stomping garage cover of an obscure R&B gem from Jimmy Hanna and The Dynamics. They released one glorious record and then dropped off the face of the earth. The flip, “Caught You Red Handed” is also a monster!

The Fender IV
“Margaya”

My favorite surf instro. So intense! Guitarist Randy Holden later lost the reverb, discovered humbucking pickups, got a stoopid big amp, and spent a year in Blue Cheer.

Les Fleur de Lys
“Circles”

An amazing cover of an already amazing song. The guitar sure sounds like Jimmy Page’s session work although some would still debate it. Regardless, it gets me every time.

George Shearing
“Happy Days Are Here Again”

A substantial re-imagining of a classic piece of fluff. The chords are so dense and somber. I first heard this cut years ago on a Las Vegas radio show where Teller (of Penn and Teller) was playing recordings he liked. Well, it could have been him, but how would anyone have known if it weren’t?

5 Hawt HipHop Singles

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

2Reps

“Been Wild”

There’s a fun summertime feel on “Been Wild” that’s perfect for the over-25-crowd (uh, maybe over 30). You know, those of us who might have had our wild days but now we maybe just want to kickback and use all those bills we save on booze for tropical vacations. Of course, 2Reps throw enough bounce into “Been Wild” to keep the kids interested even if they haven’t crossed that “Still Wild” threshold quite yet.

Susspect

“Jelly”

At nineteen, Susspect might be a little green but you won’t be able to glean that from his new single, “Jelly”. This kid sounds pro. I mean, he’s got some serious lyrical prowess and a slick delivery. That’s a winning combo. But, right now, Susspect is doing the collegiate thing by day at Emerson so don’t start pressuring him to spit out singles faster than his schedule will permit. #StayInSchool

J. Reid Prime

“All Mine”

This slouchy single from J. Reid Prime brings a little chill to these increasingly hot days. “All Mine”, produced by Gage Green, features Sonny from Mars on the vocals. This is the first single Prime has released in a year so fans will be stoked to learn that this track is just a prelude to the artist’s forthcoming album, Braille Teeth. Roll around your city with J. Reid Prime and his single, “All Mine”.

Bad Poetry Club

“Victory Lap”

Bad Poetry Club throws out some mad energy into the mix of their new single, “Victory Lap”. BPC lays out fresh instrumentals on this single to support the wisely sparse lyrics. After all, with a beat like that, who wants to get too wordy. This is nu jazz, not your normal HipHop hit. Give “Victory Lap” by Bad Poetry Club a spin below…

Jaac

“Minutes”

Jaac recorded this track last year at the tender age of seventeen. On “Minutes”, Jaac proves you don’t always need to throw a lot down on the beat if you have the lyrical strength to carry your audience. Jaac does and you can hear that stripped-down style on “Minutes”. Let’s hope Jaac has more singles in the works this year.

Pan Productions Revisits Labyrinth in The Goblin King’s City

goblin king 00by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

The good people who brought you the film-to-stage version of Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Firehouse and the musical adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo are gearing up for what might be their most magical production to date. Yes, the team at Pan Productions has been locked away for months hard at work on The Goblin King’s City; a stage adaptation of the 1986 cult classic, Labyrinth.

What I like most about the rambunctious upstarts of Pan Productions is that these folks go BIG and they go BOLD. For this new musical, they count nearly a hundred musicians, actors, and artists amongst their ranks. And, they even went so far as to add two new songs to the famed soundtrack.

goblin king 01
All photos courtesy of Ting Ting and Pan Productions

And, once again, local musicians join the cast and crew to help bring The Goblin King’s City to life with the multimedia flair that would make David Bowie proud.

One new song was penned by Serene Dominic, who also wrote the musical (and previous Pan Productions’ Production) Swimming in the Head, and the other addition was written by I Am Hologram (to be performed by We Are Hologram). Another favorite from the local music scene, Jerusafunk, will be providing the live musical accompaniment for the show.

Now, I know what you’re all wondering… Who is going to play Jareth, the Goblin King? Well, if it were up to me, you’d have to head out to the show to find out, but Sheri Amourr (executive director & producer for the show) revealed the details in our Q&A below.

goblin king 04YabYum: First of all, should we credit a writer for the adaption? Or was this a group endeavor?

Sheri Amourr: The adaptation of the script was quite the team effort. About 7 people were involved, which included our directing team, plus a few others we’ve previously worked with.

I believe this is your third adaptation of a film for a stage production, correct? Last year, you brought a musical version of Vertigo to life. And, before that, you did an adaptation of the film version of Rocky Horror Picture Show. What did you learn from previous productions that has benefited you this time around?

The greatest thing we learned from our previous theater stage productions, is that musicals are quite challenging and time consuming. We seemed to never have enough time to do what we felt needed to be done. We also learned that working with a new and mostly original script, and with new and completely original songs is MUCH more difficult than just adapting your own version of something that’s previously been done.

Swimming in the Head, while based on the movie Vertigo, was written by Serene Dominic. All of the songs, and much of the script, were his original creation. We learned very quickly that despite the simpler set design and scenes, it was far more challenging to pull off than Rocky. In the end, we were very pleased with both, but we knew of a few things that we’d expect, and in some cases do differently, in the future.

goblin king 02There were some local music All-Stars in the previous casts and we expect to see some returning performers in The Goblin King’s City. Any chance you’re willing to name drop some of the folks we’ll see in this new production?

We will be working with local music artist Joobs once again, as he will be playing the role of Jareth, The Goblin King. We are also working with Chris Del Favero of Jerusafunk as Jareth, and will be alternating our lead roles for the different show dates. Marcella Grassa from Rocky Horror, and Swimming in the Head is working on choreography with us, and Uche Ujania will be playing a surprise role.

I also noticed that some newcomers will be joining Pan Productions’ cast for this new undertaking. What new faces should the audience watch out for?

We have many newcomers, including Kendra Ruth Martinez as the role of Sarah. Alexandra Morfin will play Sir Didymus, and we have Will Jones as Ludo. Jesse Abrahams from First Friday Night Live will play Hoggle.

Some local musicians wrote original pieces for this stage production. Care to fill us in on who wrote songs for the play?

We will feature two original songs written and performed by We Are Hologram, the first full band ensemble by I Am Hologram. We will also feature an original song written by Serene Dominic.

goblin king 03Pan Productions seems to create events that are more than mere plays. There’s a celebratory atmosphere that pervades the productions. This year’s event looks like it will be no different. Food vendors? Live bands? What else can people expect when they head to The Goblin King’s City?

We are in the process of securing our food vendors, and there will be entertainment before and after the show, and during intermission. We will also have art vendors, as well as a meet and greet with cast members after the show. Jerusafunk will be the “pit band” to play the songs we will feature from Labyrinth, as well as the original song written by Serene Dominic, and numerous other musical interludes.

The Goblin King’s City opens on Friday, May 26 at The Pressroom, with additional showings scheduled for Saturday May 27 at The Outer Space, and Saturdays June 3 and 9 at Unexpected Gallery. For more information, check out the event page on the Pan Productions website.

goblin king 05

POETRY: Called Back Books

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

To help kick of YabYum’s increased coverage of the literary arts this year, our editorial staff decided to reach out to comrades-in-art and co-founders of Called Back Books, LM Rivera & Sharon Zetter.

Called Back Books came to life in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, but this avant-garde publishing house now calls Santa Fe home. To celebrate the launch of our POETRY series, we subjected the CBB team to some questions and they were kind enough to play along.

Before we get to the interview, however, Called Back Books offered this gift of poetry to share with all our YabYum readers. An extended sampler from the printed poetry of Called Back Books is available to you here for free preview/download/printing. Everyone should have more poetry in their lives. Called Back Books is here to answer that calling.

I had the chance to “chat” with the founders of Called Back Books recently, but first, make sure you get that digital download of your poetry sampler from Called Back Books (it’s 120 pages so consider that your workplace warning).

called back books 01

YabYum: I would imagine poets, like other writers, put a considerable amount of time and thought into the act of naming. I’m curious to know why you chose the name Called Back Books?

CBB: “Called back,” are the only words in Emily Dickinson’s last known letter–and they are engraved on her grave–and what would we be without her? Nearly nothing or, at least, much, much less. The master Susan Howe wrote a book called My Emily Dickinson, if she went out of her way to do this: we can at least tie our endeavor to Saint Dickinson.

What led you to the decision to launch a publishing house?

Habitual disappointment and disgust with the coeval thing called the contemporary. Also, the few kinships that have formed, the radiance of those kinships, and the lack, in relation to the exposure of those bonds (and others), in terms of so-called publishing (what we, idealistically, call THE BOOK). And, lastly, we wanted to hold the reigns (of composition and the formal structure) and let our authors say what goes and stays in their works (for obvious, personal, reasons).

called back books 11Who are some of the poets you’ve worked with (past/present/future) that really stood out for you personally?

Every writer we’ve worked with has been fire itself. We are especially addicted to our immediate poetic allies and their books (Colby Gillette’s WITHOUT REPAIR, Pablo Lopez’s NUMBERS, Adam Fagin’s THE SKY IS A HOWLING WILDERNESS BUT IT CAN’T HOWL WITH HEAVEN, and Gillian Olivia Blythe Hamel’s forthcoming occident (and more presently)).

And, as you know, we’re kicking off the Poet’s Corner? Poet’s Nook? The Poets Pocket? We thought it would be fun to have you tackle those questions before we force other poets through the ringer…

You are kind people. By which we mean to say: these monikers are much too quaint/sentimental for our taste. Something along the lines of POETS PRISON, THE POETS PURGATORY, OR THE BOOK OF QUESTIONABLE POETS AND THEIR DISCONTENT—this is more in line with our tendency…

called back books 13So, who are you and what do you do?

We are Sharon Zetter and LM RIVERA and we write, read, and publish poetry, prose, theory, collage, and anything worth taking in (anything that will have us)—occasionally hiding under the alias of Called Back Books.

What is poetry?

Any thing happening at the point after tzimzum (the infinite explosion) when language (Being) bursts from the vessel—or the disorder of the psyche mapping itself onto the language of personhood (like an eternal Celanian handshake). Jack Spicer, por vida!

Who or what are your influences?

For the sake of this discussion we’ll limit the list to ten poets: John Milton, Edmond Jabès, Rosmarie Waldrop, John Ashbery, Jay Wright, Frank O’Hara, Anne Carson, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Marina Tsvetaeva, and Paul Celan.

But it would be sinful not to mention our shared personal literary Saint Figures: Franz Kafka, Fyodor Dostoevsky, William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, and Don Quixote.

called back books 12What are you reading?

Sharon is reading through Bolaño’s canon, currently Monsieur Pain, the pre-Socratic philosophers, and re-visiting Duras’ Malady of Death. LM is reading as many of Andre Bazin’s writings/books as possible, O’Connor’s Wise Blood, Avital Ronell’s Stupidity, and Cinema Scope.

What is your mantra?

When we hear words like “mantra” we also hear the Goebbels-like economy of propagandistic language and, also, that which Martin Amis describes (namely, the cliché’s war against writing) and we try, whenever possible, to oppose, fight against, and extinguish it. As good ol’ fashion Nietzscheans: we prefer to think of our thinking as transvaluative.

~

called back books 10 called back books 02