Monthly Archives: June 2017

The Blarg No. 42: Mike Pfister

Behold! The forty-second edition of Limited Engagement. 42. The answer which, after seven and a half million years, the greatest computer ever built, Deep Thought, supplied as the ultimate answer to the great question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. That’s right, folks: I am a huge dork. I think that this has been well-established, though, and it shouldn’t come as a great shock to anyone.

We went and saw a little bit of the Emancipation Marathon over at the Phoenix Changing Hands location, and while we were only able to stay for about an hour or so, I’m glad we went. The event, which has taken place for twenty years, is run by Clottee Hammons (LE 40), and features community members reading work to commemorate the victims of American Chattel Slavery. It was great to see the inclusion of children among the readers at the event, as it will be up to them to carry on the legacy, and given Clotte’s work in educational outreach, I know this is no accident. Check out Clottee’s organization, Emancipation Arts, on Facebook, and please support her work.

This week, I talk to ASU professor and drummer extraordinaire, Mike Pfister. Mike was an early supporter of this show, originally as part of the audience, and then as an integral part of the live show, performing opening sets with PressPlay, and more recently the experimental jazz quartet, Klee. I’ve known Mike for years and have worked on a number of projects with him, but I found I didn’t know much about him personally, so I learned a lot through our conversation.

Best,

Jared

Listen to LE 42 – Mike Pfister

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The Blarg No. 41: Sean David Christensen

I’m working on something very exciting and very big. Well, I think it’s very exciting and very big, but I can’t talk about it. I hate that. When I’ve got an idea cooking that can lead to something awesome, I want to talk about it with everyone who asks me what I’m up to. Unfortunately, that same stage where I want to tell everyone about something is the same stage where the idea tends to fall apart, because people aren’t as excited as I am, or they try some devil’s advocate sort of thing. All of it is well-intentioned, I’m sure, but it also has an awful deflating effect on me which often leads me to abandon the idea, to lose faith in it. I’m not letting that happen this time. This idea is too important—direction of life changing level.

In the meantime, I’ll settle for teasing the idea and hope that in itself will generate some excitement and keep me going. There is a lot of groundwork ahead—a lot of meetings, conversations…hard, organizational shit that is not my strong suit, that I loathe doing. I am much more of an idea man, like Michael Keaton’s character in Night Shift (if you haven’t seen that movie, I highly recommend you do so). In a perfect world, I’d offer up the idea, the motivation behind it, and then someone else would swoop in and take care of the logistics, but what are you gonna do? Anyway, as they say, watch this space.

This week’s episode is a conversation with Sean David Christensen. Sean is promoting his short film, The Duel, which has had screenings at the Athens International Film and Video Festival and the San Francisco Documentary Festival, and can be seen at the Marfa Film Festival this July. He’s also done a number of other short films which you can find on Vimeo, he’s a frequent storyteller at Chatterbox and Bar Flies, and he’s in the band Maggie Dave. I had a great time talking to Sean, and you should definitely check out his work. The soundscape at the end of the show was created by Rafael Anton Irisarri.

Best,

Jared

Listen to LE 41 – Sean David Christensen

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The Blarg No. 40: Clottee Hammons

Where does anyone find the time to do everything? Really, if anyone has any tips, I’d love to hear them. My plate is overflowing, and while I can’t discuss all the projects heaped up on it, nor would you want to hear it all, there are a lot of irons, and they’re all in the fire—including that annoying metaphor-mixing iron. Between the regular work week grind, the show, Four Chambers, writing, these other projects I’m trying to get off the ground, I feel like I haven’t had time to sit down and catch my breath, to relax for even a brief amount of time. Last night, I had a mild anxiety attack. I freaked the fuck out. Everything’s fine, don’t worry about it.

Normally, I can cope by taking a few moments to sit down and play guitar. For me, playing allows the stress to fall away—rather than looming deadlines, meetings, a never-ending to-do list, I’m concentrating on chord progressions, notes, my mind weaving in and out of the melody. I haven’t allowed myself enough time for that. I need to get back to it. I’m working on creating exclusive audio content for supporters of our Patreon account, and coming up with riffs to open/close those programs is easily the best part for me. The healing powers of music, etc…

On this week’s show, our 40th (another milestone!), I talk to artist, writer, activist, community organizer, and all around amazing person, Clottee Hammons. Clottee is the founder and director of Emancipation Arts, which “provides educational information and discussions relevant to American Chattel Slavery through collaboration and arts programs.” The 20th Annual Emancipation Marathon will take place on June 24th from 10 am to 5 pm at the Phoenix Changing Hands location, and prior to that, there is a meet and greet on June 18th at Copper Star Coffee from 10 am to 1 pm. Go to the Emancipation Arts Facebook page for details.

Best,

Jared

Listen to LE 40 – Clottee Hammons

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The Blarg No. 39: Russ Kazmierczak

I’m not a natural salesman. Never have been. If I’m excited, or passionate about something, or I want to recommend something (book, music, etc.), then I can be pretty persuasive, but that’s not really salesmanship—plus, it’s limited to other people’s work. Selling my own work makes me extraordinarily uncomfortable. So being in the position of having to try and sell this show to people, to sell stores on the idea of carrying The Arg in Blarg, honestly, I hate the whole process. The thing is no one else is going to do it, and it’s my show, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. My first stab was popping into Stinkweeds this weekend (one of my favorite music haunts), and I was expecting to talk to someone who was not Kimber Lanning, but guess what? I froze for a moment. I think I pulled off my pitch, but I don’t know. We’ll see. Fingers crossed.

A couple more things for this week: First, because I know you were all curious, and waiting for the follow up on my promise to Jia Oak Baker to a bread and butter pickle and peanut butter sandwich…I did it. It’s done. I substituted almond butter for peanut, but it still counts. It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever tasted, I’m still not a fan, and I still think that bread and butter pickles are an abomination. Second, the first Patreon exclusive content is going up this week. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but definitely by Friday. It’s Limited Engagement Recommends, and it’s just going to be me talking about stuff that I really love that I think other people should love, too. This could take the form of one thing, multiple things, book, music, movie, show, another podcast—who knows? It’s not really a review, because I’m only going to talk about stuff I like, and life is too short to waste time on things I either don’t enjoy or couldn’t care less about. If that sounds like something you might be interested in, then head over to our Patreon page, and contribute at the Subscriber Level, which is ten bucks a month. I’m going to do other bonus Subscriber Level only content as well, this is just the first thing.

On the show this week, I talk to Russ Kazmierczak, the writer and artist behind Amazing Arizona Comics. Russ also created and hosts Phoenix Tonight, a late night talk show, and the Stuck in Traffic podcast. The man likes to stay busy. We recorded this the weekend before Phoenix Comicon, which we were both going to, and we’re both proud nerds, so we talk a fair amount about that. Also, apologies to Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore’s hot pants. Get more info on all things Kazmierczak at the Amazing Arizona Comics website.

Listen to LE 39 – Russ Kazmierczak

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