ROBERT CAMPAGNA AND BEN MILLER LIVE FROM PRAIRIE LIGHTS, A CELEBRATION OF THE JOY OF COLLABORATION

ROBERT CAMPAGNA AND BEN MILLER LIVE FROM PRAIRIE LIGHTS, A CELEBRATION OF THE JOY OF COLLABORATION

Caption 1: Certain people are a tune you memorize when in their company—a tune hummed during separations—a tune making any reunion instantly natural no matter how many years have passed.

Caption 2: The highest form of happiness cannot be attained by one person, but comes only of two people working jointly to achieve a shared dream—an effort involving trust, faith, and a selflessness that is endlessly exhilarating, as it opens doors that otherwise would always have remained closed.

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RIFF ON THE IMPORTANCE OF MUSIC IN RIVER BEND CHRONICLE

Back then, it often seemed like I kept myself going–kept myself alive even–simply by putting another scratched record on the old machine, hearing a voice emerge intact and vibrant from the crackle of what sounded like flames–old discs like those I’ll be playing tonight at Prairie Lights bookstore in Iowa City, and tomorrow at New Bo Books in Cedar Rapids–“Signing the Blues” and “Ostrich Walk” (Frankie Trumbauer and his Orchestra, featuring Bix Beiderbecke), “Me and the Blues” (Mildred Bailey), “Buddy Bolden’s Blues” (Jelly Roll Morton), “I Want a Little Girl” (Count Basie and his Nonet), “Autumn in New York” (Billie Holiday), “Tears! Tears! Tears!” (Otis Blackwell), “Blue Monday” (Fats Domino), “Mockin’ Bird Hill” (Les Paul), “My Baby’s Coming Home,” (Les Paul and Mary Ford), “What Is This Thing Called Love?” (Leslie Hutchinson), “Nightmare” (Artie Shaw and His Orchestra)… 

WHAT I CARRIED HOME FROM THE ONE STORY LITERARY DEBUTANTE BALL

Envision the first sentence of a Virginia Woolf novel (Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.) pasted, black letter by black letter, on the exterior of a Chinese lantern bigger than a basketball by an event organizer of exquisite standards, she who never leaves a stone of grammar unturned—the lantern LED-equipped: switch on bottom, an illuminated orb cradled by an incorrigible colorist in a cardinal jacket emerging from the deep of the 145th St. subway station accompanied by a willowy dance partner or poetess in the pink dress, the boozing late night regular on St. Nicholas Ave. commenting: “What you got, a moon?” and drizzle marinating the panther prowl of building shadows, tires slurring across damp pavement, the exclamation points of our emphatically bleary yet still dazzled eyes turning up 148th Street, led homeward by inherited incandescence of Tradition and its Future, just one lantern of many bearing famous first sentences that were hung about the auditorium, but at this moment this silvery blue glow seems to contain the extravaganza entire, all crafted decorations, the whole dance floor and its cornucopia of whirling faces celebrating writing, one true newness we can grant ourselves daily.

For more Ball images visit: http://www.one-story.com/blog/?p=4590

RIVER BEND CHRONICLE GLOSSARY, ENTRY #1

GLIPPIE

Definition:  Glip-pie, noun:

  1. A young person dealt a harmless (or glancing) blow by a sub-culture rather than being subsumed by conformity to the hipness of its strictures.
  2. A genetic glitch of a guppy with, say, three eyes and two tails.

Sentence:

Elvin and Mack were glippies, having received but a glancing blow from the monumental hippie movement, 99% the unlovely sons of a coolie taunter and 1 percent flower children—that is, only Mack’s upper lip was hippie—home to a shaggy mustache—and Elvin, he sported the sensitive hippie ears that dug whatever pabulum the Columbia Record Club dispatched, crash bang bong-a-lop-slop Peace Now Pretty Please. (p. 373, River Bend Chronicle: The Junkification of a Boyhood Idyll amid the Curious Glory of Urban Iowa)

Note: This noun will be FOR SALE on June 6th at the One Story Literary Debutante Ball: A Celebration of Emerging Writers. For more information visit: http://www.one-story.com/index.php?page=benefit