Posted on Leave a comment

Blue Collar Gift Guide Vol 3

Because buying small gifts for friends is fucking fun.

Today’s suggestion is a great little chapbook of poetry called Space Time Continuum For Dummies by my friend, Michele McDannold. It’s the debut book by newly minted Gutter Snob Press. I know. Great fucking name for an underground small press, right?

Michele writes angry poems that are so smooth, and polished that you almost forget you’re angry, too. This book features 14 poems, plus a bonus 15th poem if you order from the website below

Did you see it’s only $5! Hell, buy three copies, one for you, and two for some friends that need a little dose of good poetry in their lives. This is a small gift with big bang. You can’t go wrong.

Book Cover

Author photo and bio

Posted on Leave a comment

Blue Collar Gospel Gift Suggestion Vol 2

MVNIFVST (pronounced Manifest) is a local multi-media company and Lifestyle Brand. I know. The first time I heard that I was like “what the fuck is this?” too.

I first read about MVNIFVST LLC in Of Rust and Glass No. 6 last July. I had an interview in the same issue, and I know Editor Curtis Deeter from ORAG, he’s an artist’s artist, a heck of a writer himself, and I knew he wouldn’t just throw anyone into his magazine. I read the interview and it mentioned my close friend and collaborator Cory Todd and InSessions Productions, and close friend and legendary local musician Zak Nevers. If those guys vouch for you, you can hang in my podcast studio any time. You should check out that interview from MVNIFVST in ORAG here:

Since then, Knightheart and MVNIFVST have become close friends, and a brand close to my heart. Back to what it is they do. Their goal is to inspire creatives and entrepreneurs through their team of content creators and offer resources for striving artists. I stole that sentence from their website. MVNIFVST works with many artists, local and multi-state and they have branded their art. Basically Jelani, the CEO, has leveraged his years of experience as a hustling artist, and combined that experience with dozens of other artists, venues, and various other platforms, and if you are looking to take your art to the next level, they can help guide and plug you into an ever growing network of artists.

In the meantime check out their website, and visit their store. Browse some of their quality merchandise. The store is full of incredible gift ideas, sure to boost the mood of any loved one or friend.

Who says we need holidays to buy a gift for a friend? It’s the shortest day-time of the year today. Find a cool gift to help your loved one through December, and support an incredible local artist ran company.

or visit their Facebook store

Top L to R Surreal Ramen reading my novel, Defonix, Cory AKA InSessions Productions, Knightheart and me. Bottom left, me wearing my sweet ass MVNIFVST Tee, Bottom right, Luna Day, Jesse Reau, Knightheart and me.
Posted on Leave a comment

Blue Collar Approved Gifts: Vol 1

I know it’s getting late in the game to buy gifts before the big bang of Christmas Day. Who cares? Gifts are cool no matter what we’re celebrating. Today is Sunday. It’s cold and gray in Toledo. Who wouldn’t love a warm book to read under the weekend long full moon? So here’s volume 1 of Blue Collar Gospel approved gifts. I promise, all of them will be affordable. I know we’re all hard working folks, and you’ve got my pledge that our dollars won’t be wasted.

First up is a new book by the punk rock poet of Hollywood, Iris Berry. The book is titled The Trouble with Palm Trees, and is out now on Punk Hostage Press. It features a dozen incredible poems. Kicking off the book is a tribute to the beautiful palm trees that find themselves a metaphor for the whole damn state of California. That’s followed by love poems, poems dedicated to Iris’ outlaw cats past and present, and one to an outlaw ex-lover. There’s Christmas at the supermarket, love poems to Hollywood and punk rock ghosts, and this stand out collection ends with a poem about tough luck and hard lessons learned.

The Trouble with Palm Trees is an Iris Berry triumph in these hard times. The book is full of heart, tough and broken love, loss and a tinge of regret, but most of all, it’s full of the classic Iris Berry hope that we’ve all grown to love. And there’s art work by well-known Los Angeles artist, Scott Aicher.

This beaut of a book comes in at just $10. Buy two. One for you, and one for a friend that needs a little dose of hope. Click the link below, and stay tuned for more gift ideas soon.

Click to buy Iris Berry’s new book of poetry, The Trouble with Palm Trees
Iris Berry’s Author bio from the book. Just $10
Posted on Leave a comment

My First Official Record Review

I had the honor of writing an article about Detroit area songwriter Alison Lewis’ new record, Our Lady of the Highway. The article appears in the Museum of Americana, and the record is an incredible record. The album release party is tomorrow night (friday Dec. 3) at Ant Hall in Hamtramck, MI. The show will be opened by my buddy John Freeman, and closed by Detroit group the Gashounds. Gonna be a good show.

Check out my first official record review, here

Posted on Leave a comment

Heartbreaker: a sort of review

Gloombaby’s new EP, Heartbreaker is available everywhere you listen to music

Gloombaby, a local hip hop artist from Monroe, MI has a new EP ‘Heartbreaker’ out now. It’s four songs long, and dropped on Halloween. 

The beats are different, with strains of acoustic overtones, leaving parts of each song feeling a little R & B- ish, especially on the track “Live Laugh Love.” Gloombaby shows off his quick hard hitting lyrics in his verses, and brings it together with his hooks and choruses. 

All four songs speak to the open vulnerability of Gloombaby’s work. Life and love are messy, and it often hurts. Is it worth it? Stay tuned. 

The EP was produced by InSession Productions. It’s four songs. Eight minutes. It’s tight. Raw with feeling. Gangster hard in some places, soft as a good hug in others. Bump Heartbreaker when you’ve got time to crank up the volume a little. You can thank me later. 

Posted on Leave a comment

Cheese & Grapes Ep. 2

Jars of homemade apple butter, grape jelly and salsa from Theresa Konwinski

Ha! Welcome to another episode of Cheese & Grapes. Don’t worry. We don’t really know what we’re doing either.

Friday kicked off a hell of a weekend. Knightheart, the founder of MVNIFVST, LLC, and Jesse Reau and Luna Day stopped in for a short podcast, some Marco’s pizza, and a four hour long kick it fest. Sunday I got to hang out with local horror film director, Nate Thompson, and local musician Zack Nevers. We talked all things horror, and new creative projects. Monday evening, my sometimes podcast cohost Mike McCoy dropped into Not a Duck in Any Row Studios, with his longtime friends Big Jon and local musician Aaron Konwinski. I haven’t laughed that much in a long while. Wednesday I hosted a livestream reading and interview for my dude J.I.B. an Ohio poet. His new book Our Tiny Little Lives is out now.

In the middle of all of those great good times, I bartered some poetry books to local writer Theresa Konwinski for some homemade apple butter, grape jelly and salsa. Friends, let me tell you, the apple butter is delicious. I haven’t had homemade apple butter in a lot of years, and Theresa’s didn’t disappoint. It’s got hints of extra cinnamon, I think it’s cinnamon, I really don’t know how apple butter is made. No matter. This apple butter is damn good. The grape jelly holds its own in toast trials. A dab of melting butter on toast, and a dollop of the homemade grape jelly is a noteworthy midnight snack. The real superstar of the trio is Theresa’s salsa. Oh, man. What a delight. It’s sweet, and bursting with flavor, and has a small kick that comes around on your third or fifth chip, depending on how fast I’m eating. It’s not a super spicy kick, but enough to sniffle your sinuses a little.

I gotta tell you, Theresa Konwinski is one of my favorite people. Not only is she a Doctor, she plays music, cans the best damn salsa this side of the Maumee River, and she writes kick ass books. You should buy a couple of them. Thank you for restoring my faith in high quality salsa, that explodes in a cyclone of flavor.

Tonight, I moseyed on over to the Switchboard on Monroe St. in downtown Toledo. My friend Ben Stalets of Everybody’s Laughing fame, was playing some music, and my friend John Freeman from Detroit was in town to jam with him. It gave me another chance to steal time with 60 Watt Funnel aka Josh Byer’s artwork. It’s on exhibit at the Switchboard until the end of the month. Stop in and see his amazing work. Plus, it was great as always to see Benny, and John, and Drew Rochotte dropped in and kicked off a set just as I was saying my good byes to Noelle, and Syd, too. Sorry Drew. The factory bells call early in the A.M.

As Toledo’s weather clocks march towards fall, there’s no reason to take the petal off the metal. It’s senior band night at my Senior Son’s high school on Friday. I’ll be hooping and hollering for my drummer son. Then Saturday I’m reading poetry in Portsmouth, OH at the Southern Ohio Museum with J.I.B. in support of that kick ass new book of his, and Sunday and Monday I’m back to hosting new podcast episodes.

There’s no rest for the wicked, and barely any for factory working writers.