Concert Report

For those of you who need to get acquainted with music in Tampa Bay. Thanks to Bev at WMNF for sharing.

Thurs Sept 30 David Rosenfield, Dumb Blind Luck, Johnny Genaro at The Bunker 7:30 FREE

Thu, Sept 30 The Two Man Gentlemen Band – New World Brewery/ guests on WMNF Sonic Detour (4 p.m. - 6 p.m.)

Oct 1 Walking Catfish with Fire Spoken by the Buffalo 6pm at Revolution Records Lakeland

Oct 1-3 Folkfest St. Pete Central Avenue between 11th and 13th Streets in downtown St.Pete. Free! with free
parking at Tropicana Field.
Oct. 1: Indigo Girls (7:30 p.m.), A Fragile Tomorrow (6 p.m.), Lorna Bracewell (5 p.m.)
Oct. 2: The Heavy Pets (5:30 p.m.), Have Gun, Will Travel (3:30 p.m.), A Fragile Tomorrow (2 p.m.), Rebekah Pulley and the Reluctant Prophets (12:30 p.m.), Ronny Elliott (11:15 a.m.), Jaden South (10:30 a.m.)
Oct. 3: Rosie Ledet and the Zydeco Playboys (1:30 p.m.), Dar Williams (3:30 p.m.)
Saturday Oct. 2 Veg Fest at Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa. 10 am SUNSET BRIDGE , JUSTINE MAYELA , JOHN CLARK AND THE BAKER ACT

Sunday, Oct 3 WMNF presents Del Castillo, plus Point 6, at Skippers 6pm. $15 adv $20 door

Nine Bullets anniversary party
Oct. 9 St. feature music from; Matt Woods, Pete Stein (Truckstop Coffee), Devon Vlasin (The Takers), Nessie, The Pack A.D.,4pm Cafe’ Bohemia St. Pete

Oct 11 Two Cow Garage New World Brewery


Walter Dean Myers

I think I've noted here before that I've made it my mission this year to interview as many non-fiction authors as possible.

But this summer a co-worker turned me on to Walter Dean Myers, who writes mostly fiction. For kids. About wars, prison, drugs. All the good stuff I was naively (and thankfully) barely aware of in my Full House-watching youth.

I decided Myers's life-mirroring fiction would make a good addition to the non-fiction program I'm putting together for the WMNF News later this year.

Lots of us entered adulthood unprepared. Why would a kid know how to balance a checkbook if one's parent's lacked that skill? Still, many kids are even further behind in the game of life if they enter it illiterate, with a criminal record, or are dealing with heavy emotional or psychological issues.

Myers himself was raised by foster parents and dropped out of high school when he realized he was a financial burden on his impoverished family. In the first half of our interview, he spoke about his experience growing up in Harlem in the '50's and losing his kid brother on his very first day in the country of Viet Nam.

In the second half, Myers compares his slacker prep school characters from The Cruisers to those in Lockdown, about minors in the prison system.

Despite his heavy subject matter, Myers never gives us more than we can handle. In fact, he gives us, young and old, the tools to make it through.

Ode to C-SPAN

My ears perk up when I hear mention of C-SPAN, although in the past week my favorite cable television channel/internet content provider has gotten the egghead treatment from WWDTM, Stephen Colbert, and more.

I wanted to pay homage to C-SPAN for doing right when most mainstream media outlets are failing us tremendously.
For example, this past Saturday morning while the liberal-leaning cable news channel spent about 7 minutes on Lindsay Lohan's latest lapse in judgement, over on C-SPAN the topic was "Is the UN still necessary?"

Granted their loosest cannon may be their morning show, Washington Journal. It totally reminds me of my days in community access TV where conspiracy theorists, various loons, and hatemongers called in just because they could.

But that comes with serving the public. (I should know, I work at the library.)
Many other callers are intelligent, proactive, and worried citizens. I realize snarky cynics don't actually care what the masses have to say, but I do, and what better way to hear their opinions than to broadcast them for anyone to hear? Public discourse is sorely absent from our superstar talking-head "news" shows.

I admit my own introduction to C-SPAN was due to Chris Farley's Newt Gingrich act. That was what it took to get a 15-year old interested in politics.

I continued to watch on and off for years not really understanding most of what I saw (after all, I only had one semester for civics in my entire public school education). But coming back again and again continued to educate me.

C-SPAN's original programming, along with their other channels like Book TV, provide more in-depth political analyses (that the average person can usually understand), history, and public affairs than any other network (and I'm betting all networks combined). What I like most about C-SPAN is that they turn their cameras on, shut up, and let us think for ourselves.


The Plight & Promise of Africa

Alizza Punzalan-Hall is co-chair of The Plight & Promise of Africa, an Eckerd College initiative that shines a local spotlight on the troubled continent that seems worlds away from us in the U.S.

As part of the program, What is the What author Dave Eggers and Lost Boy
Gabriel Bol Deng came to the campus last week to discuss Sudan and the good that has come out of, and recently returned to, the war-ravaged country.

It was exciting to see a huge crowd for this event (by no means Kenny Chesney huge, but at the very least Lyle Lovett large).

Alizza introduced author Dave Eggers with one of his own quotes:

“When you’re walking down the street holding a ladder, and someone needs a ladder, you hand over that ladder. It’s almost a relief to have a tool in hand, and meet someone who needs that very tool."
You can listen to the story I did in the WMNF news archives.

An extended version of the Eggers/Deng lecture will air toward the end of the year as part of my non-fiction author interviews special.

Science Friday Quotes

My favorite is the one from Margaret Mead.

Eavesdroppings - The Scientist - Magazine of the Life Sciences


Deep Carnivale

Deep Carnivale is for writers, readers, and anyone looking for artistic inspiration & examination of the human connection.

Catch readings, performances, workshops and more at or around the HCC campus this weekend (at 14th Street & Palm Ave. in Ybor), starting tonight. Check out their website for the schedule and more info.

What is the What? Indeed

Last night I got to see one of my favorite authors and do-gooders, Dave Eggers, up close.

He was giving a talk at Eckerd College as part of their Plight & Promise of Africa series.

Eggers' book What is the What tells the story of Valentino Achak Deng, one of Sudan's Lost Boys. Deng was not in attendance due to a family emergency, and his friend Gabriel was kind enough to share his story.

Next week I'll have the story on WMNF. Stay tuned.


Put a Shirt on Our Backs

WMNF wants you to design their next tee shirt. The deadline for submissions is September 10th. The winning design will likely be featured on WMNF's 2011 tee shirts, to be given away during next year's marathons. And the contest winner will receive a one-year benefit pass to WMNF concerts & events.

Speaking of 'MNF events, here's a few upcoming:

Paul Thorn w/ Ronny Elliott and Rebekah Pulley. Skippers Smokehouse, Friday, September 17 8pm $15 advance, $20 door

WMNF 31st Birthday Bash, at The Ritz Theatre, Ybor City, Saturday, September 18, 7pm. $22 advance, $27 door. w/Paul Thorn Band; Suenalo: The Hip Abduction; Johnny Cakes and the Four Horsemen of Apocalypso; Cadillac Bombers; Sleepy Vikings, Jim Morey Band, Peace Mole and the Psychedelic Multi-Colored Litmus Test

Del Castillo, plus Point 6, at Skippers Smokehouse, Sunday, October 3, 6pm. $15 advance, $20 door.

Gimme Some Truth: the John Lennon 70thBirthday Party/Tribute, at Skippers Smokehouse, Saturday, October 9, 1pm-midnight. $12 advance, $17 door. Advanced price of $12 until 5pm. A mega-tribute….. a celebration of the life and music of John Lennon. Open mic 1pm-2pm. At 5pm Grecian Urns will re-create Lennon’s classic album "Imagine". The night closes with an extended audience sing-along of “Give Peace a Chance”.

Do Me Like That: the Tom Petty 60th Birthday Party/Tribute. At Skippers Smokehouse, Saturday, October 23, 7pm . $12 advance, $15 door

Little Manatee River Jam, with Damon Fowler; Have Gun, Will Travel; Talk To Mark. At The Canoe Outpost, Rte 301, Wimauma. Saturday, November 20, 3pm-9pm. $15 advance $20 door.