Good Gifts To Give

Everybody needs some Bukowski in their life.

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Everybody needs some Bukowski in their life. For those who rely on his perspective and sense of beauty, his astonishing industry has meant an enormous amount of posthumous publications.

This new volume of previously uncollected and unpublished poems—many of them appeared decades ago in the mimeographed poetry magazines, how’s that for analog?—is typical of these in one sense: it’s a mixed bag of good and not so good writing.

What makes this book special is that the good writing is some of the best I’ve read from Bukowski, wonderful in spirit and in line. This joins the ranks of his finest books of poems, like Love is a Dog From Hell and Septuagenarian Stew.

And while you’re in the giving mood, please contribute to the Big City Kickstarter campaign. I still need your help, and the campaign is open through December 7. Become a subscriber now for some cool schwag!

“I ate your book.”

Bernhard Lang

“I dig the jacket!”

Kurt Elling

Pay it Forward

Something else worth your while and a few of your hard-earned dollars: A hip project from Chicago’s Spektral Quartet, they are looking to fund the costs of commissioning and recording original ringtones from 40 contemporary composers. From $10, there are various packages which will get you some or all of the tones, and more, so if you ever thought of paying for them anyway, here’s where to buy.

In Your Own Home!

That’s right, you too can have Elliott Sharp in your very own home! For the low, low price of $1,000 coin for a private concert! Too much? Then scrape together $10, or anything else you’ve got, so he can record “Proof of Erdös” and complete his (hopefully) upcoming CD From Corlear’s Hook on Starkland records. There’s pretty much no more creative and accomplished genre-crossing artist than Sharp, and any new release from him is an important event. One of the most fund-worthy things you’ll ever find on Kickstater, so help a brother out.

After Nemo

I really don’t need to be buried under anything else at the moment, although my little girl has been desperate to build her first snowman, so things may work out for her this weekend. I can’t make this, but I want to point your attention to a new composer-run music organization, Index O. Their opening concert was an evening of the music of Jürg Frey, who I knew nothing about, and it will go down as one of the notable events of the year. They’re following that up with a fundraising even in Brooklyn Heights this Sunday, 8pm (details here), $20 gets you new music and what appears to be homemade food and beer(!!!!). The money goes towards producing their debut recordings. If you can’t show up for the fun, they have a Kickstarter campaign going, so give a little if you can. Believe me, every little bit helps.

Black Friday

It’s Black Friday, time to spend your money on worthy causes: dance, live jazz and Charles Mingus’ legacy.

By all means, spend your money on Black Friday, just be mindful of where it goes. Head the call of Reverend Billy, consider Small Business Saturday, and especially take a look at these projects, in your name or in that of someone who shares your values:

    • Pulse, a composers group founded by Joe Phillips, is raising money for a collaboration with Take Dance. Go to the Kickstarter page for an excellent video of what they’re working on.
    • Orange Then Blue is trying to raise money to film a documentary on Charles Mingus, to be directed by his grandson Kevin Ellington Mingus. Here’s their Kickstarter page, with a great video teaser.
    • Search and Restore, a group that puts excellent jazz and improvised music right in front of your ears, live, is alsofund-raising, and you can help them keep live music alive: