We just got back from Phoenix Comic Con. I want to say I’ve been going for the last four years—it might be five, but I am pretty sure it’s four, so let’s go with that, shall we? Anyway, where was I? Aw, yes, I’ve been going to Phoenix Comic Con for the last four years, and I think I’m finally starting to get the hang of it. I’ll let you know if I’ve actually got it next year. I will also let you know my thoughts on THIS year’s experience in an upcoming edition of the show. I had a great little chat with the panelists/judges of this year’s Nerd Slam—perhaps the most unique show from a recording perspective that I’ve ever done—and I’ll post that sometime soon. The whole reason I am even bringing it up right now is because one of the panelists, Ernesto Moncada, is part of a really cool show that will have finished its run before I post the interview, and I want to be sure to plug it. The show is a musical adaptation of the beloved film Labyrinth called The Goblin King’s City, and it has two remaining performances, June 3rd and 9th at Unexpected Gallery on 734 W Polk St. Please go and support your local artists.
The only other thing I’ll say about Phoenix Comic Con in this week’s Blarg is that I may have developed a little man-crush on the author Sam Sykes. I’m not sure yet. I have to read one of his books, and if I like it, then I’ll know. He’s a wise-cracking smart-ass, and I want to grab a beer with him. For some reason he reminds me of Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy—both physically and personality-wise. Hopefully I can convince him to be on the podcast. Again, I have to read one of his books first.
This week’s show is our second anniversary bash. Two years. TWO YEARS! For the 2nd anniversary, I asked Four Chambers Press founder and editor-in-chief Jake Friedman to interview me about the show, and the book we released covering every episode of the first two year, The ‘Arg’ in Blarg, which he sort of did. Really, Jake did a bang up job…of making me feel uncomfortable. Which means he did an all around bang up job. Thanks, Jake!
Listen to this week’s show: LE 38 – The Second Anniversary Show
Well, it’s done. The Arg in Blarg, which covers the first two years of Limited Engagement, is now available. As of now, the only place to buy the book is in the shop on ltdengagementpod.com. I’m looking to get into some local bookstores and other retail establishments, and do some additional events to promote it, and of course I’ll let everyone know as things get confirmed. The book looks great—I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. Janell’s design was amazing as always, and the folks over at Biltmore Pro Print did a bang up job putting it together.
Friday was the launch for the book as well as the second anniversary of the show. It was great. I was pretty nervous about being the interviewee, but Jake Friedman did an excellent job, and we had a great conversation. With that one in the can, the live show is effectively on hiatus until the fall, but we will continue to post a new show every week, so please keep coming back.
This week’s show is a conversation I had with poet Andrea Scarpino just prior to the launch of her new collection, Once Upon Wing Lake. It’s a beautiful collection, and I highly recommend that you pick up a copy. We had a deep and open conversation about family, perception, and writing artfully about painful personal experience.
Listen to the show here: LE 37 – Andrea Scarpino
I have been talking about this book a lot, and I am probably not going to be able to stop any time soon. The Arg in Blarg is a collection celebrating our first two years’ worth of conversations with local writers, artists, musicians, arts and culture titans, and Robyn Hitchcock. Our second anniversary show, kicking off our third year, will take place at HUB Modern Cooperative (either back on the patio or inside the C-Mod building, it depends on the weather) on this coming Friday, May 19th at 7 pm, and that is where we are launching the book. If you can’t make it to the live event, you can purchase a copy through our newly redesigned website (thanks to Janell), or if you are feeling more generous, you can visit our Patreon page and become a patron.
Limited Engagement is the most satisfying, fulfilling project I’ve ever done, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s worth something. We spend a lot of time and a decent amount of money on this show, and I think it’s an important platform for creatives in Phoenix, as well as a great resource for aspiring creatives. I would think this if someone else were doing this show as well, but they’re not—at least as far as I know. Anyway, if you feel similarly, I hope you’ll consider supporting the show either through purchasing the book and other items that will find their way into the shop, or becoming a patron.
This week, I talk to poet and photographer Jia Oak Baker. Jia’s chapbooks Crash Landing in the Plaza of an Unknown City (Dancing Girl, 2015) and Well Enough to Travel (Five Oaks, 2015) are both fantastic, and she’s been published in many journals. Jia was one of the first guests I talked to, and it’s the only conversation I didn’t manage to record, so I’m thrilled she was willing to stop by the house and do it again. It was a great conversation. Probably even better than the first one.
Listen to LE 36 – Jia Oak Baker
Well, we did it. It’s done. The Arg in Blarg: Limited Engagement, The First Two Years is in the can and off to the printer. Nothing to do now but wait. I hate waiting—gives me indigestion. I’m really proud of the finished product, which is due in large part, as is the case with most things, really, to Janell Hughes, who not only did the layout and design, but the lion’s share of the transcriptions as well, whilst I fretted over writing all the various bits and pieces connecting the damned thing together. I’m so glad it’s over. I did mention that I was proud of it right?
The Arg in Blarg features a section devoted to each episode from the first show with Bill Campana on May 20th, 2015, all the way through the 34th show with Sally K. Lehman and Jessica Standifird, which was posted just last week. There are also a few other odds and ends, including a gallery featuring all of the promotional flyers. The book is being published through Four Chambers Press, and we’re launching it at our second anniversary show on May 19th, please join us if you can. Failing that, the book will be available on our website. I’m looking to partner with a few local establishments as well. If you’re interested, hit me up.
On the show this week, we have local music legend Jon Rauhouse. Rauhouse came to prominence in the band Grievous Angels, has worked with Archers of Loaf frontman Eric Bachmann, Jakob Dylan, Kelly Hogan, Sally Timms, and many are no doubt familiar with Jon’s work as a part of Neko Case’s amazing band. We had a great conversation about the life of a professional musician, his work with Neko Case (who might be my favorite singer of all time), and his beautiful playing bookends the show. On May 20th, you can check out the Jon Rauhouse Combo at the Sun Punchers album release show at The Newton on May 20th at 7:30 pm.
Listen to LE 35 – Jon Rauhouse