Latest Project: Dust Nuggets

Dust Nuggets Postersmall.jpgI’m on the murky road to film financing. My latest project — following the wild and wonderful ride with Traffic Opera — is called Dust Nuggets.

I’ll be partnering with Andrew Pochan once again. This time we’re going full bore to create a feature film. We shot a teaser for this back in March and finally have it posted:

It’s a mind bending psychological drama with a nod to the Iambic pentameter. It’s Dr. Seuss meets David Lynch. It was originally a web series, but Andrew and I changed things around, got our own minds blown on some big hairy Pharma product, and spit out a script for a full length feature film. With unicorns. We can’t wait to get this mutt financed. If you see us coming, you might want to run in the other direction because we will definitely be asking about money.

See you down at the permit office.


Audition for Prohibition

Attention all you flapper wannabes: Reading Theater Project is currently working on their end of summer production. It’s about Prohibition in Reading, PA. As everyone knows, Reading was infamous throughout mobdom of that time as a “wide open town.” We’re spending a lot of time in the vault, digging through the cracking, yellowing pages of the 1920s and 30s archives. You would not believe what we are finding.


And we’re not telling about it until it’s time for the unveiling of the production. Meantime you can get in on the action by auditioning for the show. We’re looking for people that can talk, act, sing, hoof, tell jokes, do impressions, or perform anything remotely Vaudevillian. Here’s the official call:


The Reading Theater Project will hold auditions for our original production, Speakeasy, a play with music about Prohibition in Reading. Auditions will be on Monday, June 30 and Tuesday, July 1 at 6pm at the TEA Factory at 580 Willow St. in Reading. 

All actors should prepare a 1 minute piece, from the 1920s/1930s era if possible: a monologue, 32 bars of a song, or a performance art style. We are casting adult actors to play Vaudeville-style performers, gangsters, temperance workers, and citizens. Only some roles require singing.

Performances Aug 30, 31 and Sept 5, 6, 7. All roles will receive a stipend. Questions or to reserve your audition space: 484-706-9719 or Details on roles and the production at


Hope to see you there.


Da Blues

I needed a break from higher thought, so I picked up a book on one of my favorite subjects: the Blues. The History of the Blues: The Roots, The Music, The People from Charlie patton to Robert Cray seemed perfect for a light diversion from the rapture of the Singularity. What is more primal, more raw, more carnal, more earthy, less technological than the Blues? Here’s a music that can be played with old-fashioned household cleaning aids: jugs, washboads, washtubs, and homemade instruments: combs in wax paper, sticks on coffe cans, spoons on thighs. Even a human voice accompanied by fists thumping a table top will work. Maybe. And the subject matter is far from complicated. On the surface anyway. We’re not protesting here, or solving world peace. We’re just lusting after someone we’re not supposed to be lusting after. At any rate, imagine my dismay when I read, “The history of the blues, in one sense, is the history of folk art in the age of mechanical reproduction.” In other words, there would be no Blues if there were no recordings. Not sure if we can ever test that theory, but it certainly is true that I wouldn’t ever known about it. Not now, not these days with all the technological chatter we have to filter our lives through.

Worse than that, though, I pulled out an old Roots of Robert Johnson LP I’ve had since the last days of LPs and listened to a couple of songs mentioned in the book. Reading the liner notes pretty much killed me. Here’s a sample discussing Son House playing My Black Mama. “House’s rendition is a one chord tune played in “Spanish” (open G) tuning. Its eleven bars are comprised of a four bar vocal phrase followed by two 3 1/2 bar phrases, each consisting of nine beat vocal lines paired with a five beat riff. On the third beat of the first vocal phrase House launches an eccentric guitar measure consisting of three muted open string strums followed by two eighth note bass fills. The two concluding beats of the phrase are gauchely fleshed out by repeat strums. House further betrays his amateurism by repeating the subdominant bass notes of the second vocal phrase for the concluding one which should have used dominants.”

That silly Son House using those subdominants like that. If only he hadn’t been so amateurish. What with our modern sophistication, just think of what we could do now with those 3 1/2 bar phrases and nine beat vocal lines over a five beat riff.

At any rate listen to the song. See what you think. Don’t know about you, but I hear the regular I-IV-V blues progression so I have no idea what he’s talking about it being “a one chord tune.”