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News

Fifteen Year Anniversary Screening of Faustus’s Children


Don’t miss this camp classic supernatural thriller about a group of rich kids who kill one of their own made by David Jones (Jonesy), Michele O’Marah, and Tim Jackson. Jonesy and I made the original sound track for the film. The screening of the film is accompanied by a reading from Ian pictured in the flyer, played by Dave Cull and music by my folk duo with Erin Schneider. The evening is hosted by painter Iva Gueorguiva who curated the show KNOT at MIM Gallery. Faustus’s Children 15 Year Anniversary Screening Saturday October 23rd 7pm.

REVIEW in Art Forum

Ride the rails of The Sunset Route, an arctic circling around lives

A REVIEW –

People ask me what it’s like to grow up in Alaska. There’s an awed romance around hauling and chopping wood buried deep in a cabin in the woods with just your wits and a shotgun, five miles from town. Canned goods and pickled vegetables you put up yourself lining the shelves inside. Raven and fox, moose and grizzlies are just outside your door, ringed by fireweed and diamond willow. But there is a parallel tale, a particularly feral set of survival skills needed for Anchorage city life in the last of the Greatlands that is Alaska, where half the state’s entire population also survive late winter black as night freezing-ass days and sun-drenched summer nights. What wilderness are those woods, grizzlies knocking over garbage cans on their way through town? For what if the bear is already inside the cigarette-smoke filled apartment with you and she is your mother? What if the icy snow drifts of hunger piling up as berms are in the pit of your stomach, and you are a little girl with no one but an equally small and hungry brother to turn to? The Sunset Route, a devastating memoir by Carrot Quinn tells that latter story. Carrot’s mother was an undiagnosed and untreated schizophrenic. She said and did terrible things, neglecting her own health, sacrificing her children’s care to an altar of religious zealotry manufactured by a broken mind. It’s not really her fault. But it is incredulous that Carrot survived the years she tells us about. You must read it to add your heart and eyes as witness. She is legendary.

The book fluctuates chapter by chapter between her horrifically impoverished childhood in Anchorage, Alaska and learning to love — train-hopping, people, writing, hiking, and HERSELF— until time collapses into a near present year. The chapters are titled by years opening with 2003 in Portland, Oregon as Carrot describes her first train ride guided by instructions from “A.” I knew right away who he was. Three clues intersected with my own first meeting of him that same summer – 1. banjo 2. grease-stained carharts, so slick from weather and wear (and no washing) that they look like leather. and 3. pinworms. I met him on the plains of Idaho in Stickerville at the Weiser National Fiddle Contest. Stickerville alights for ten days there behind the contest building and RV campers on the other side of wide stone buildings among tents, porte-potties and the sounds of many all-night jams. Fiddles, banjos, guitars, mandolins swirl into the wide-open air buoyed by the boost of upright bass and the throb of one, four, five (and even sixths or an occasional two!) It is a glorious time. In one jam I was part of with a banjo on his knee, between tunes, a fiddler said to A, “I like your leather pants.” “They’re not leather,” he said. He had come across the field over to the camp with an armload of vegetables and bread. Later, a friend whispered we might not want to eat his offerings because he had pinworms. Threading together these clues was a delight to think Carrot’s hobo teacher was this same fella and that she had grown up in Alaska. I was hooked.

The second chapter 1988 takes us to Anchorage when she is a young girl, and here our stories diverge. That year, I had blown our hometown and was in my first year at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. I had spent high school in a small house in the working class quilted patchwork of Anchorage neighborhood Mountain View, taking the city bus each day across town, but coming home to parents who could be tough but were very loving. There was never want for food or clothing or books or things. I know the apartments she writes about—there was one next door. A fourplex where you walk downstairs to one floor or upstairs to the other. I know how they smell and feel. The musty carpets, the yellow-ed walls, and stale air steaming the closed windows in winter. I know the described places she walked to around town. I know the bus, known as the People Mover and how unmoving drivers can be to needy, broke riders even in the dead of winter, when standing in one place too long might lead to the the loss of a finger or toe, more if you’re drunk and asleep.

Carrot was fourteen when a friend’s mothers helped get her away from her mother. Her brother had already left a few years before and she went to join him in Colorado, living with grandparents who may have kept her belly full but all hearts were empty. The rest of the book moves tighter in time to describe pacific northwest anarcho-punk that might be familiar to those of us living on the left coast. It’s threaded by riding the rails, anarchist conferences, dumpster-diving and freedom. She comes into herself as a lesbian named Carrot and goes looking for her father, finds her purpose through long hikes and writing. It is an enjoyable and painful ride.

Walking my evening walk after finishing the book I turned over thoughts about Carrot and the Last Frontier and two things surfaced – 1. It takes a long time, a lot of longing, and hope to thaw from that deep freeze and 2. The true last frontier for us humans is Love. We are imperiled. We cannot look away from those around us, the smalls and the talls, who suffer. People wear clues. We need to do a better job of seeing to hear them and to extend a helping hand. Children should not be hungry. The wolves are at the door. It’s us.

No one gets out alive, so why the fuck not?

Summer Sabbatical

I am about two months in to a three month sabbatical I gifted myself to “recenter my life around my creative practices”. Three weeks ago, I made some overhauls to this website and just a few days ago, in an attempt to share the site with a friend, simply got a pageok on a white space in response. In short, all of the changes I made were lost in a kerfuffle of not knowing that in 2016 when I was separating from my ex, I had simply switched the domain to my own account NOT the webhosting. Needless to say, this, too is part of the journey of this sabbatical. Much of a person’s day to day is spent dealing with administrative tasks that take the wind out of your sails of free and easy concentration to focus on that which is most important. It will all come out in the wash and not a big deal, but man, it sure is crazy where a day can go.

Photograph by Jessie Gentry

Bluegrass Situation Song Premiere!

I’m excited to announce that The Bluegrass Situation is premiering song “Your Rockin’ Bow Don’t Roll No More” from my upcoming solo album, The Last Kind Word. Check it out here!

The album releases on Tuesday, May 23rd. You can pre-order a copy on bandcamp.

Album release party at 1642 on Friday, May 26th at 9pm.
1642 Temple, Los Angeles 90026

Solo Album Release – The Last Kind Word

My very first solo record The Last Kind Word is mixed, mastered and ready for pressing! It will be released on May 23rd, 2017 and celebrated with a release party at 1642 Bar on Friday, May 26th! Pre-order your copy now!