Jeremy Clark : January 4th, 2017

Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Have you ever left a movie theater feeling like you just needed to drive around to reflect? Jeremy Clark and I were chatting before the interview about the movie Moonlight. He described it as one of those movies you just have to drive around afterwards. I can’t remember the last time a movie or book effected me in that way, but I knew right away what he meant. To get so enveloped in a thing that conjures far too many ideas, thoughts, and emotions.

From talking with Jeremy and what I’ve heard about it on NPR, Moonlight has some obvious parallels to Jeremy’s work. The story follows a young black man as he defines his identity dealing with questions of masculinity and belonging. Many of these same questions are asked in Jeremy’s poetry.

Jeremy Clark is my guest today. He is a southern poet born in Louisville, now living in the Bronx. Much of his writing are reflections on family, home, masculinity, and being a Black American. Jeremy is a Cave Canem Fellow, has taken part in the poetry project the Conversation, and is currently working on his thesis manuscript at Rutgers University.

We had a really great discussion during the holidays. We covered a lot of ground on subjects such as feeling like you never fit in, what being a good older sibling entails, and his projections for the next presidential administration.

You can learn more about Jeremy and read his work at jeremymichaelclark.com

Enjoy the discussion below or subscribe to the podcast using iTunes. You can also find Blind Date on Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook.

Till next time..

June 11th, 2014

Hey listeners.

As I mentioned last week, today you’re going to learn what ASMR is. I first heard of it from the NPR program ‘This American Life‘ (which I have to admit is a huge inspiration for Blind Date.) And much like today’s guest, I was shocked to learn this sensation I’ve experienced all my life had a name…and others felt it too.

So, to start, ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. ASMR is a tingling sensation some individuals feel that usually starts at the crown of the head, trickles down the spine, and for some throughout the body. This usually results in a calm, relaxing state which varies in intensity from person to person. ASMR ‘triggers’ can be aural, touch, or visual based. Most triggers seem to be something that brings a sense of comfort to the individual, but the specifics differ on an individual basis. Many people do seem to share the trigger of whispering.

And in this day of instant communication, the online community surrounding ASMR has grown rapidly, Youtube being the center of it. There are hundreds of videos made by what is referred to as ‘ASMRists’, which are essentially video makers who set out to invoke ASMR in others. I was fortunate enough to Skype with one of the larger voices within that community, Ilse Blansert. Ilse is an ASMRist hailing from Canada with three very popular Youtube channels, the most well known being ‘The Water Whispers‘. Ilse is heavily involved in ASMR awareness to the point that she’s devoted full time to it.

Ilse and the rest of the community are continuing their efforts to spread the word through an ASMR tour and International ASMR day, on account of there isn’t a lot of research being done on this subject; mostly due to the fact ASMR proves difficult to measure.

You find out more about Ilse and her efforts at her website. Above is one of her videos (my personal favorite).

Here are other ASMR related links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomous_sensory_meridian_response

https://www.facebook.com/ASMRisland

http://www.whispercommunity.com/

https://www.facebook.com/InternationalAsmrDay

Enjoy.

Age of Aquarius..

If you’ve been listening to NPR, you’ve probably heard quite a few stories lately about aging. Speaking of which, a question for you Blind Date bloggers…is 28 still a young age? Relatively young?

I only ask this as a transition to something I’ve pondered often, which is how to stay motivated and creative as you age…I wonder often if I’ll keep creating as I ripen and my responsibilities increase. There are many artists I admire who seem (or seemed) to stay quite prolific in this sense; such as Moondog (aka The Viking of 6th Avenue), the blind musician and instrument creator. Or the ambient music loving multimedia artist Brian Eno. He has been turning up more than ever lately, even at the age of 65. And Mrs Laurie Anderson who is right up there with him at 66!

If you grant some of your time, I’d like to talk about two more artists creating well into their lives. The first I’d like to talk about is an artist who is definitely at the top of my list. Still spry at the age of 85, is Alejandro Jodorowsky. Jodorowsky is an avant-garde filmmaker, playwright, actor, author, musician, comics writer and admirer of the Tarot. He is probably best known for his psychedelic masterpiece The Holy Mountain (fun fact: this was funded by John Lennon) and acid western, El Topo (The Mole). He was also slated to director the Dune movie adaptation, which sadly didn’t happen (there’s a documentary about Jodorowsky’s concept for Dune. Check out the trailer here.)

Though he refers to himself as an ‘atheist mystic’ much of his work focuses on religion and spirituality as well as violence, sexuality, psychedelia, and his childhood. And just last year his newest film The Dance of Reality (La danza de la realidad) was shown at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival with a standing ovation. The film is based on the autobiography of the same title. The film blends Jodorowsky’s personal history with metaphor, mythology and poetry, reflecting his view that reality is not objective but rather a “dance” created by our imaginations. Besides all this, he also finds time for lectures and writing about his personally created spiritual system known as ‘psychomagic’ or ‘psychoshamanism’. He is a machine…a creative bullet train.

The next artist I want to talk about you may already known of if you follow music news at all. Her name is Linda Perhacs. I just recently discovered her through her ever growing media coverage. Her’s is an interesting story. Speaking of age, the more elder of my readers may remember her album release in 1970, Parallelogram. Unfortunately, it was a commercial flop.

As the story goes, Perhacs was a dental hygienist in California. And many of the teeth she cleaned happened to belong to some rather famous people, including film composer Leonard Rosenman who helped her get the record deal to record her debut.

Slowly but surely, despite the lack of commercial success, Parallelogram turned into a cult following and in turn influenced many of today’s musicians in the more experimental side of the folk scene.  Now, forty four years later at the age of 70, she has released her sophomore album, The Soul of All Natural Things, to much praise. Above is a music video for one of the tracks off her new release.

I hope that I can someday reach this point of achievement…leaving a life spanning body of work. I’d love to know your opinions and thoughts on this…readers of any age! How do you remain creatively focused and inspired with each passing year? What techniques do you use to keep fresh? How do you keep your adult responsibilities from clashing with your creative ones? I’d love to see some dialogue in regards to this on either the blog, Tumblr, or Facebook.

Oh yeah, PS. If you’re privy to what’s happening in Louisville’s music scene, then you’re probably already acquainted with my guests for March..the band Black Birds Of Paradise. Since I talked to them, they’ve had many bits of press, showed up on a local news channel, and celebrated their debut album release at the New Vintage. Be sure to listen in at the end of the month for our discussion.

My small gift to you…

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December slowly comes to a close, listeners. And being this late into the month, so too does 2013. I decided to give you a guys a little something different this week due to this fact. I put together a little playlist of songs that have struck me for whatever reason this year…along with a small description of why. Below are a couple clips of some of the music that didn’t make the it on there, but I still like to share with you.

I discover Fever Ray just this year…I feel a little behind the times. I’m very draw in by the percussion heavy atmosphere of  it. She definitely has a kind of psychedelic, ceremonial sound, using Laurie Anderson inspired techniques.

I recently heard an interview with this artist on NPR. It was pretty interesting; I was definitely more intrigued when I heard Dev Hynes has Synesthesia (the same neurological condition as Vladimir Nabokov.) I’m excited to see more soulful music like this popping up. One last thing, if you get a chance, check out the cover art for his album Cupid Deluxe. It really struck me, and was ultimately the reason why I sought out his music.

December 11th, 2013

Twin Limb playing at Haymarket.

Twin Limb playing at Haymarket. Projections by Spettra.

Enjoying the winter, listeners? I know many of you like myself have been amongst some extreme winter storms; so please stay safe. Stay warm.

Today I bring you a recording of myself, hanging out in the practice space of the duo known as Twin Limb. We decided to do something a little different this time, on account of they haven’t had the chance to record any material. We set up a room mic and I let them play for me like it was my own personal concert (and yours now!), and I asked a few question between songs. Despite what I say in the beginning, I love NPR (don’t get me wrong!).

Twin Limb is a pretty new band, but judging from their rather polished haunting sound, you wouldn’t know it. The group consists of Lacey Guthrie and MaryLiz Guillemi, who before now have played in various groups and solo. Now as their newly found partnership, they’re taking the Louisville music scene by storm. If you’re lucky, you’ve already caught them at one of their many shows. If you have yet to see them, better jump on it while they’re out there playing gigs because soon they’ll be working on recorded material.

If you’re intrigued, you can find out more info at their website. Or at their Facebook page. Recently, these ladies were featured on the video blog ‘This Man Is Not My Father‘. Find the video clips, and more, at one of the many links listed.

Happy Holidays!