How Are You Feeling Today?

August 23, 2010

by Tommy

Cos I’m feeling great. No seriously, and naturally. This past Saturday was the release party for birdsong #13 at Rose Live Music in Brooklyn.  We read some things, sold some zines, I got to reference that Roseanne/Ab Fab crossover, PAPS made everyone cry (god, “Sometimes” is like the best song in the Universe [it plays toward the end of the video]), Wilkes talked about w33d and a story where a sparrow named Jack is getting surgery to appear more human I mean– we have it going on. And now, starting the birdsong publication cycle over has made me realize there are some loose ends to tie up and new beginnings to mention.


Mainly I’ve been using it to visually catalogue where stickers of ours have popped up

and where our publications have made themselves available,

but I also have a different intention.  With birdsong #12, I made a bunch of postcards, addressed them to the Birdsong HQ, stuck each one with a stamparooni, and began leaving them around neighborhood cafes, inside books at The Strand, against bathroom windows, inside refrigerators.  I also had friends in Philly, San Francisco, LA, San Diego and Seattle leave them around for me.  The postcards simply say, “How Are You Feeling Today?” leaving the rest up to the discoverer.  I’m sure many got lost in the mail, thrown away, or still sit in the books, BUT.  A few made it back to me, and starting today I’m going to publish them on a regular M/W/F schedule on the tumblr until I run out of lovelies.  Here’s the front of them:

The first polaroid is of a brick wall that used to say “DO NOT FALL IN LOVE” but is now washed clean (and a pet grooming store!).  The second is a polaroid from 2007 when I lived with Isabelle and Sav, in a windowless room in an apartment Max lovingly named “Pussy Heaven.” The guy sitting is Jesse Benjamin (who created the buzzing animated series Nature Boy) and the hands belong to Jess Paps.  There is a painting of a pug, a picture of John Travolta from Saturday Night Fever, Mondonna in her “Italians Do It Better” t-shirt, and a poster of Janis Joplin (amongst other ephemera).  The back says, “birdsong year 2.”

SO follow us on tumblr and see results of all the casting.


L Magazine contributing editor and birdsong contributor Paul D’Agostino also operates the Centotto gallery, which is now housing Citational Graphologies or A Show of Hands, and they are still open to submissions:

Select a quote, in any language and from any source — book or film, song or speech, periodical or website, or even something you’ve heard uttered by a stranger in passing — write it out BY HAND on any sort of piece of paper, scrap or not, noting the source and your name, and send it via post to Centotto or bring it to one of our events. Submissions from any and all will be welcome, and all will be exhibited.

You can see some of the entries they’ve already received here, and it’s a good addition to yr CV!


Birdsong fave Erin Markey will be performing this coming Wednesday for Our Hit Parade at Joe’s Pub @ 9:30 pm (you can get tickets here).  This Thursday Max will read some poems for a night of contemporary poetry and music at A Gathering of Tribes, with other local literary luminaries like Chavisa Woods, Gian Maria Annovi, and Tiq Milan, with Maria Gran on sax– 6 pm.



July 27, 2010

by Tommy

Blah blah blackstreet I’m tired.  I would do a more extensive list but this is officially layout week for birdsong #13!!!  It wouldn’t be altogether more terrible than normal, except that my computer’s hard drive crashed, erasing almost everything I own (movies, music, pictures, design files, etc) and there’s a lot of re-dos to be done.  So back up yr shit (that’s what he said) and I’ll see you in a couple weeks with a new zine and the reading at the end of the month (though I’m not sure where, as 3rd Ward is suspending events at it’s Metro location!!!).  If you have any leads on spaces, give me a heads up!

nom nom nom

Tuesday – Gerrification

As a part of Dixon Place’s Hot! Festival, “Gerrification” is an interactive, multi-media show by writer/performer/photographer/style icon/radio show host Gerry Visco (who Max Steele interviewed for this very blog!).  As I understand it, audience members are encouraged to volunteer to become “Gerrified”: to join the Gerry party by donning a characteristically outlandish platinum wig, cat-eye glasses, and bright clothing.  Gerry will outline her platform for a better world, give some tips on how to live a more fabulous self-loving life, and narrate some of her experiences moving to New York in the 1970’s.  Cast members are numerous and include Fritz and Christina (from HiChristina, where we used to hold the Birdsong Reading Series) and Joseph Keckler on video.  Get tickets here.

Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie Street, NY NY, $1o (advance) $15 (door), 9pm

"I'm sorry I gave you crabs." "s'cool, dad."

Wednesday – LIT 18 Launch Party

LIT, a literary journal published by the New School which counts our very own Katie Naoum as one of it’s editorial staff, is having a launch party for their latest issue at powerHouse Arena in DUMBO.  Readers include Mike Young, a contributor over at HTML Giant and co-editor of the free print/online NOÖ Journal.

powerHouse Arena, 37 Main Street, Brooklyn NY, 6:30-8:30pm

Thursday – CUT + PASTE Writing Workshop

My friend Nikki Burst (who had a poem in birdsong #2 and read for us two! years ago!) is co-hosting a writing workshop at WE-ARE-FAMILIA’s pop up gallery and event space in Brooklyn. It seems there there will be actual cutting and pasting of words happening (which, if I remember correctly, is a skill Nikki and I exercised in a workshop with Kathleen Ossip two! years ago!) so come with goo gone and a strong hand.


WE-ARE-FAMILIA, 539 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn NY 6-9pm

Friday- Nurses in New England

This week at the Ohio Theater, a birdsong fave downtown performer Erin Markey is in the cast of Nurses in New England, “a musically-enhanced glimpse into an idiosyncratic coastal hospital where female nurses run surgeries, secret-smoke, and balance friendship, forgotten love, and conflicted ambition—with the daily stakes of life and death. A comedic and poignant look at the desire to make amazing miracles.”  Get tickets here or by phone, (212) 868-4444

The Ohio Theater, 66 Wooster St., NY NY, $15 (general) $10 (students/seniors), 7pm


June 14, 2010

by Tommy

Hillstock was a blast this weekend, as always PAPS tore it up.  Got some BBQ– the meat was big and the buns were small so I did a little Chris Farley song & dance in my head.  This coming week is pretty big.  Since changing gears and slowing the production schedule of birdsong (and deciding to charge for the zine [which I hadn’t done before]), I have wanted to do something free in the off-months.  Something smaller, a lil more manageable, something quick and fun.  Taking a huge cue from Showpaper and Desert Island Comics’ Smoke Signal, Birdsong Micropress is adding a free, bi-monthly, double-sided-quarter-folded newsletter, BRD SNG, to our publication list!  So we’ll still have six publications a year, but only three will be full zines.  Each BRD SNG will have one short story, some short poems, one piece of art, and one five question interview.  I’m checking the press copy today yay.  Look for it wherever you pick up free shit.  And on to the week…

Monday June 14

MoMA Presents: Neil Diamond’s Reel Injun.  No, not that Neil Diamond.  This is happening all week, but tonight (and Saturday) are the only evening shows.  Given that pop culture references to Indian people play on a continuous loop through my mind (it’s like a baggage claim in there. OOOOH BAGGAGE CLAIM!! I seriously just came up with that it’s mine. Drama read. Tired read. Tara Reid).

Neil Diamond is an award-winning filmmaker from the Cree community of Waskaganish, on Canada’s James Bay. His most recent documentary feature is a vivid, lively essay, both critical and optimistic, on the history of the representation of aboriginal people on the big screen. Reel Injun uses footage from Hollywood films to highlight that industry’s perpetuation of cultural misunderstandings both tragic and comic, while also highlighting feature films made by aboriginal filmmakers the world over. The film also features native actors like Adam Beach, Chief Dan George, and others discussing self image, as well as filmmakers like Clint Eastwood who helped challenge popular and negative “Injun” stereotypes.

As Wilkes pointed out to me, Clint Eastwood is probably going to say some shit that’s gonna piss me off, but I think a lot more people are going to say some really awesome things.  I have my own theories about how George Catlin drawings begat Edward Curtis photographs begat Wild West shows, print media, and then film.  I’m just really glad this critique is happening and I am coming at it with an open mind. 2010, case-by-case basis (CVJ).

MoMA, 11 W 53rd St., 8pm

Tuesday June 15

This Tuesday is another installment of Joseph Keckler’s Inner Beauty Parlor.  It promises “LITERARY READINGS! COSTUMES! MARINA ABRAMOVIC REENACTMENTS AND MASHUPS! OPERATIC GOSPEL MUSIC! X-TUBE COLLAGE!”  Featuring, amongst others, birdsong interviewees the aforementioned Mr. Keckler, Erin Markey, and Gerry Visco, and poet Chavisa Woods.

Envoy Gallery, 131 Chrystie St., 6:30-9pm

Thursday June 17

birdsong contributor Catherine Chung (named one of Granta‘s “New Voices” of 2010) is reading at the release party for SISTERS: AN ANTHOLOGY about… sisterhood!  I mean, I haven’t read it but I’m just going to make a bold prediction.  And is there anything better?  Reading with Catherine are Ana Maria Jomolca, Myra Shapiro, and Jan Freeman, director of Paris Press and co-editor of SISTERS.

McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince St, 7-9pm

Saturday June 19

The Museum of Art and Design is hosting a Gay print/Queer zines discussion panel with Michael Bullock of BUTT Magazine, Scott Hug of K48, and others.

Tracing the history of queer publications, from underground “gay rags” to current contemporary independent and mainstream magazines, GAY PRINT / QUEER ZINES looks at how design and the editorial process has both been shaped by and help shape the attitudes and identity of the queer community.

Museum of Arts & Design, 2 Columbus Circle, 3pm, $7 general $5 students

The Yardmeter Editions reading series hosts The Harp & Altar Anthology, a first foray of the online lit mag into print publishing, with a multimedia fête.  Artwork by Lorene Taurerewa, readings by Ana Božičević, Dan Hoy, Eileen Myles, and Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, and a musical performance by Miracles.

267 Douglass Street, 6:30pm, free


May 24, 2010

by Tommy

In between writing/working, sleeping, and eating a big sandwich, I can usually be found combing the internet for ways to take advantage of the City, slash if there is any second of my day unaccounted for, I get the panic sweats.

just sit back and google "angry taco."

SO my neurosis is your gain, b/c here are some things I’ve excavated for the week in a section I’m titling THIS WEEK IN BIRDSONG

Monday, May 24 2010

Tickets go on sale this afternoon for NewFest, the New York LGBT Film festival, where they will show (amongst others) my boyfriend James Franco in the Allen Ginsberg biopic, Howl.  He’s really nervous about the critical reception so come support us tee hee!  Get a full schedule and ticket prices here

NewFest, June 3-13, SVA Theatre, 333 W 23rd St.

Tuesday, May 25 2010

Here’s something random I stumbled across while the Nyquil was wearing off– a sock puppet storytelling hour.

As long as they’re clean, right? Read the rest of this entry »