“Listen to my music
And hear what it can do
There’s something here as strong as life
I know that it will reach you.” – Neal Peart
Welcome, my friends, welcome to The Music Issue, a 14-song set filled with fiction (5), poetry (5) and nonfiction (4).
We kick off this concert edition with a searing Kayli Scholz story (“Bad News Baby”) about Peace Fight, a fictional band with a “kindasorta hit” and a female drummer who mispronounces Bob Dylan’s name. Trust us: it’s rad.
We then get toasted on a supreme Jim Warner flash fiction (“Picture of Health: Chet Baker”) about the self-destructive, strung-out jazz phenom himself “who never really said what happened.” A fine summer scat.
Stacy Estep follows with a highly entertaining and telling flash that laments the many songs about women’s legs and behinds (“Songs About Girls with Wheels”). A booty call like no other.
Violinist Joseph Douglass, grandson of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, is the subject of Leah Angstman’s superb period piece, “Music Knows No Color.” Cinematic.
Jim Warner’s second flash (“Buddy Litwiller rides the lightning”) riffs hilariously on a “future gluehead” who shows up to class pictures in a Metallica t-shirt. Word.
Following a standing ovation for our fiction writers, Tory Pearman takes the spotlight with two lovely poems (“High Lonesome” and “The Banjo”) that speak to much more than bluegrass and “Uncle Penn’s fiddle.” Mountain music to our ears.
Daniel Lassell evokes applause as his exquisite poem (“Band”) tenderly describes woman as guitar. Electric elegance.
Roy Bentley enters the medley with a poem (“Robert Plant Holding a Dove That Flew Into His Hands, Circa 1973″) that likens “the heart inside the successful crooner” to “Frank Sinatra with a smidgen of Elvis tossed in for good measure.”
George Drew’s sleight-of-hand eulogy poem, “Early Morning at the West Side Y,” relays an intricate encounter with Sixties rock legend Edgar Winter. Frankenstein on acid.
After our graceful poets exist stage left, we return with flash prose by Rachel Richardson (“The Only Reason for New Jersey”) that is simply boss. You heard us: The Boss.
Sarabeth Minton then writes a dark, funny love letter (“Dear Tim Kinsella”) that credits Tim Kinsella for becoming the soundtrack to her dementia. Nirvana. In utero.
And for an encore, Michael Corrigan leaves us with an epiphany and renewed appreciation of Bob Dylan (“Not Dark Yet: Another Look at Bob Dylan”), while publisher Dan Cafaro joins the band with a rousing reflection on music’s lasting impact (“Jamming to the Soundtrack of Generation T. Rex”).