April 20, 2012
My next novel which I call Dead Strings, at this point, has yet to leave the ground, but I continue to mine my own experiences and gut-reactions with modern, rock & roll music for the heart of it. One musician/band who stirs my head, heart, and hips is Nina Diaz and Girl in a Coma. Stirring the heart of Nina Diaz, early in her career, was Alice Bag (of The Bags). Alice, too, is a Latina rocker, who now rocks classrooms with inspiration. This article in the San Antonio Current tells the story. Here’s an excerpt:
“Once upon a time there was no punk rock. No Clash. No Ramones. Sid had yet to meet Nancy. Punk rock had yet to be invented. Little-known to most, one of the inventors of punk rock spoke Spanish, grew up listening to rancheras, and watched lucha libre.” “I started working with the children of immigrants, children who were limited English speakers, just as I’d been when I entered school,” she wrote. “I encouraged my students to question everything and everybody, especially me and any other authority figure.”
Here’s Alice with The Bags:
April 12, 2012
I used to hear Esperanza Spalding through the floor of my apartment as she practiced for classes at Berklee. I could tell she was good, but her music now excels at fusing the interaction of her band mates into a joyful whole.
Ms Spalding has a new album that shows off her music with a bit more tunefulness this time without giving up her usual multi-influenced style. The bebop elements are still there, dancing with Latin rhythms. The bass still duels with her voice. Her band is rock-solidly with her material. Though her style varies now from classical influences to avant garde, the sound is always pure Esperanza. Enjoy. There’s a bit of it here to hear below. Downbeat magazine says: “The most anticipated jazz album of the year has arrived, and Esperanza Spalding’s hook-filled Radio Music Society is an artistic triumph.”
April 11, 2012
I’ve switched the points of view of my two latest novels to first person, because it works to bring out the personalities of the main characters. Vanessa Veselka has some good ideas about this and she also points out some good examples to learn from. Here is an excerpt from her interview with Rob Hart. She is the author of Zazen.
Rob Hart: What attracts you to the first-person narrative?
Vanessa Veselka: I love the speed and the edge. It reminds me of what lit did to me when I first started reading. From Dostoyevsky to Melville, Celine—to all the modern classics of identity and manhood like Happy Baby, Fight Club or things like that. It drives. You hear the voice of the narrator and inside that, you hear your own. It’s a drug. What it lacks in sweeping majesty it makes up for in intensity. I like intensity.
RH: Which authors, contemporary or classic, do you believe are exceedingly adept at writing compelling first-person narratives?
VV: I mentioned some of my favorites above, but also The Lover by Marguerite.