Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Eddie Stack Book Club


 Don't panic!
 There's no Eddie Stack Book Club, I just made that up!

However, there are those of us who really enjoy his work. So, for this St. Patrick's Day, we would like to share with you a few things about his books, his characters, and his stories. Hope you enjoy, and maybe you'll become an Eddie Stack Book Club Member, too. Just to clarify...there IS NO book club, so don't be sending me any money to join!! Wait...on the other hand, just meet me around back. (*wink*)

Some are answering questions about his books, some are commenting on the free stories via his website at www.eddiestack.com and other comments, well... you'll have to see for yourself! It's all about appreciation and support on this St. Paddy's Day 2014. Put on the kettle 'cause you never know who will stop by!



BOOKS Q&A

1. Where is your favorite location Eddie Stack writes about?

Terri Taylor Tattan
Remote, sparsely populated areas, like in "For the Record." (The West)

Sherry Perkins 
Rossmount House in "Simple Twist of Fate" (The Irish) and Pat Patrick's cottage in "Flowers of the Sky." (The West)


2. Who is your favorite female character?

Terri
Constable Stella Blute in "Carnival Cop." (Borderlines)

Sherry
Mabel Downwave in "Revolution" (The West) because she is loyal, quiet, and somewhat withdrawn and defeated in the beginning of the story. In the end, she finds herself and her strength and I love that about her. Ooh, and because I'm a hopeless romantic, I must include Ellie Lazurino from "Ellie" (Out of the Blue).

Can this be the lake where John and Marty fish in "Blue Money" (Quare Hawks)?
3. Who is your favorite male character?

Terri
Guy from "Bonzo." (Borderlines)

Sherry
Paddy Petty in "When Everyone in Ballyjames Had Helicopters" (Quare Hawks), because he's hilarious, silly, stubborn, nervous, mean sometimes, and so animated. And Bonzo in "Bonzo" (Borderlines) is so James Dean cool and smooth. He's one of those guys you just want to hang out with.



4. Which character would you run from, if you saw heading your way?

Terri
Gerard Downwave and his talk of revolution! "Revolution" (The West)

Sherry
I'd run from Faruda in "The Poet, The Psychic and The Knave" (The Irish). She's clingy, neurotic, and just crazy!
 

Look! It's the donkey from "Jackass Blues" in Out of the Blue.
5. Which character would you LOVE to kill? (It's not a homicide if they can't find the body!)

Terri
Finbar Lyons - because he's a pig! (I don't really want to kill him, though.) "Bonzo" (Borderlines)

Sherry
Toss up between Gerard Downwave in "Revolution" (The West), because he just sucks the life right out of his wife, and he did it on purpose; and Mona in "Morning Tea" (Quare Hawks), because she's stubborn, cold, resents herself, is very unhappy and takes it out on Jack.



6. Which character do you wish you were more like?

Terri
Sam's mother from "Simple Twist of Fate" (The Irish). Although she has characteristics I would not want to take on, I do admire her strength and determination.

Sherry
I wish I were more like Sam in "Simple Twist of Fate" (The Irish), because he has the wonder, curiosity, softness, simplicity, and joy of a child. [And no...Terri and I DID NOT share and compare answers! Ha!]

This is what I imagine Pat Patrick's cottage to resemble, but a bit larger to hold everyone!
7. Which character would you marry?

Terri
None.
Sherry
I'd marry Bonzo. He's just that super cool. But since he smokes dope, I'm going with Paddy Petty because I'd always be laughing (...or fighting - and as a Southern Gal, I don't back down!)

The colorful vibe of this picture is synonymous with the crazy vividness of Eddie Stack's stories.
8. Which character would you want to befriend?

Terri
Sunny from "One for the Rover." (Borderlines)

Sherry
Bonzo (Borderlines), the Moore Family in "For the Record" (The West), Sam in "Simple Twist of Fate" (The Irish), Tommy in "The Book" (The Irish), and Todd in "Carnival Cop" (Borderlines).




9. If you had to sum up Eddie Stack's writing in one or two words, what would you say?

Terri
Incredibly entertaining!

Sherry
Powerful, poignant.


10. If you could transport yourself into only one story, which story would it be?

Terri
"Back in the Days of Corncrakes" (Out of the Blue)

Sherry
"The Book" (The Irish)


I can imagine this scene as Tommy watches and writes in "The Book" from The Irish.

11. Which ending was the coolest and most surprising?

Terri
"Bonzo" (Borderlines)

Sherry
"Bonzo" (Borderlines) & "Ellie" (Out of the Blue)


Hey look, it's Bonzo! He's just hangin' out. If he had a website, am sure it would be www.GoWithIt.com
 
12. What are some of your favorite Irish words / phrases?

Terri
"Great steam," "you're a legend," "cracked as a brush," "mighty," "you know, yourself," "come here ta me"
Sherry
"Jaysus," "stone cracked," "lambaste," "nicked," "different kettle of fish," "on the steers again," "put the chat on him," "gone from the wire," "Irish nirvana," "on the pull," "batshit crazy," "bigamy sirens," "cratur"

Maybe from Megga Moore's home, she saw this from atop her bicycle on her travels into town.
13. Has any story made you cry?

Terri
"The Warrior Carty" (The West) gets me everytime.

Sherry
"Time Passes" and "The Warrior Carty" (both from The West), "Morning Tea" (Quare Hawks), "Simple Twist of Fate" (The Irish), and "Ellie" (Out of the Blue).




14. What character did you secretly hate?

Terri
Mariah "One for the Rover" (Borderlines)

Sherry
Peter Berry and Coyne in "Waiting For a Fare" because they stereotyped and judged Manji because he was different, AND Senator Patrick Kelly in "Ellie" because he's just an arse!! (both from Out of the Blue)




15. Any words for Eddie Stack? 

Terri
Thank you for sharing your gifts with the world! You're a legend!!

Sherry
I'm so happy to have discovered your stories! Thank you for your words!


~~~Other Comments~~~

Debby J. Bruce
Tell Mr. Eddie I said, "Hello!"

Kerry Burak
Eddie, Happy St Patricks Day to you. I'm so excited to say your writing is highly recommended. My first read is "Heads." I bought it the other day and began reading. It's exciting, charming, and a bit humorous. I've already formed pictures of what the characters look like - that I believe takes genuine talent. I want to know exactly what Jazz did to tick the priest off - it's going to be a fun ride discovering that. I'm looking forward to reading your other works as well, especially Borderlines. I promise to leave reviews for all. Wishing you all the best. Much love and respect, Kerry.

Janet Burke
Eddie Stack is a modern Irish storyteller, brilliant at creating colorful, unusual characters that are both endearing and exasperating, with engaging plots that make his books hard to put down. His stories are character driven and filled with quirky people who are often self-destructive and, if not already steeped in the darker side of life, they are teetering on the brink. Rarely is a character all good or all bad – with the exception I think, of Basil in “A Simple Twist of Fate” who was a crass opportunist epitomizing the Celtic Tiger era. There was nothing good about him! Through Eddie's work I feel like I'm getting a glimpse of an element of modern Ireland not often seen by outsiders. And although the stories are contemporary, there is a thread of the druid throughout, as if magic is at work moving the plot along and leading the characters to their fate – a fate that is always very satisfying. The lives depicted in Eddie Stack’s stories are often gloomy but his underlying optimism shines through and keeps bringing me back for more!

 Emma Heatherington
Irish Author
Eddie Stack's stories are like a warm hug that take you back in time. I can't help but smile at their familiarity and the satisfaction that comes with each conclusion. A true delight.

Michelle Henman
The best authors are able to draw you into a story; Eddie Stack does that and more. The stories build around you, the characters are real and relatable, and you ALWAYS walk away wanting a little bit more. 

Pat Carroll Marcantel
I thoroughly enjoyed Eddie Stack's story "Bonzo," even though my delicate 81-year-old eyes had to flutter across all the F-bombs, etc. The characterizations are wonderful and the story line kept me glued to it all the way through. Way to go Bonzo AND Eddie Stack!

 Jim McKee
Irish Artist & Musician
Eddie Stack writes from a place that has been lived and seen, an Ireland that is leaving us. His stories carry so much humour, charm, honesty, truth, sorrow, punch, and real Irish dialect. Pagan and Celtic, pre-Christian and the secret truth that was kept hush in Ireland makes for not just good reading but interesting and educational as well. He captures an era soon gone. After reading his short stories I want to read his books. They're preserved photoshots of something priceless and magical...now I know where the deep well is, where his son Aindrias de Staic drinks from, he doesn't lick it off the ground...pure magic. At the turn of a sentence Eddie can stop you in your tracks or make you laugh. He doesn't waste a word...long live Eddie Stack. These words n stories are old souls alive. Jim McKee

Karla Mohtashemi-Reese
"Granda and Me": I was drawn to this story because of my own personal relationship with my Grandpa. My own Grandfather was such a colorful character, and told me stories of his experiences as a youth that flew me away to days gone by. I was delighted by this author's writing style and how he easily introduced me to the characters of his own youth. The information about St. Patrick's day customs in Ireland was retold in such a brilliant manner! I actually felt I was there as the story unfolded. The ending made me smile. What a wonderful writing style this author has! I cannot wait to read more! Recommend him HIGHLY!

Jayne Henry Owens
www.ataglancemag.com 
Recently I had opportunity to read each of the free stories available on Eddie’s webpage. I thoroughly enjoyed them and was very happy to be introduced to this lovely writer. Eddie’s ease of approach to his stories instantly draws the reader into a comfortable cadence, even in an uncomfortable story line. His narrative voice is earthy and natural as he shares his first hand view of everyday Irish life. The pictures drawn are filled with relatable characters that seem very at home in their surroundings. I was easily swept away, falling quickly into the world he created, even though I have no knowledge of Irish life. Significant things, Irish-centric, were shared in a relevant way so as to imply that it was integral to the story, even as it was commonplace. This style allowed me to feel fluent in what was being shared. There I found humor, truth, conviction, liberation and so much more. A quaint look at life through Irish eyes.

Sean Sheerins
(Sean's answer to question #1 is): Doolin!

Patrick Talty
Eddie is an authentic Irish voice in fact and fiction. I marvel at his power of recall when writing about conditions in Ireland from his youth in stories like, "Time Passes." I also enjoy his blogs with a mix of fiction and documentary. Beir beo, Eddie.

Elizabeth Teese
...I found the story ["Bonzo"] funny and captivating from the get go. The characters were easy to envision and absolutely delightful. They were fleshed out so well I found myself longing to meet them. I can't wait for another chance to get lost in one of his stories.


~~~Special Guests ~~~
 (Look who stopped by!!)

Bonzo
We're on the bus, man!
[By the way, Bonzo tweets and you can follow him on Twitter @BonzoInfo]
 
Aindrias
www.aindrias.com 
Eddie's writing is both insightful and inspirational. Its gives us a chance to see with rare humour the Ireland that lives within us all.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Fan For Life


When someone enriches your mind, it’s very overwhelming and amazing and can’t be put into words. However, this is my feeble attempt to do just that – pay homage to a fabulous and wonderful writer. I hope to do him justice, without causing embarrassment.

     We all have our favorite writers. When I was a kid, Laura Ingalls Wilder dragged me along the prairie. I gathered eggs and firewood with her, froze with her in the meager cabins that sheltered them from bitter and harsh winters, and cried when her sister Mary went blind. As an adult, Rick Bragg makes me laugh at the impoverished rural people of the South and the situations which befall them (simply because I can relate), and I even cry at their heartache, grit, and loneliness. Now, I found another author who affects me just as much but in different ways.
      Eddie Stack takes me on magnificent journeys to far away places, journeys which always include cast after cast of humorous, flawed, and down-right crazy characters full of the quirks we all possess (some to a larger degree than others). Borderlines is the title of his latest work. In addition to Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rick Bragg, Eddie Stack is now in my category of favorite writers.

      Places I’ve visited include: a classroom inside a monastery, a psychiatrist’s office, Irish pubs and streets, a train station, a living room of a downtrodden wife, a bedroom of a confused wife, a wild and wet carnival, an Irish cottage, a riverbank where boys fish, a dole office, and so many more places; places which may remain physically foreign to me, but not foreign in my mind. Not anymore. Not only do I get to go to wonderful and exotic new places via this writer, my emotions tag along on a roller-coaster of experiences. I love the characters, hate the characters, both empathize AND sympathize with them. I laugh with them, cry with them, get mad with them, cuss with them, and find myself saying aloud, “Oh no you didn’t,” when a character surprises me!
      All writers have his or her voice, that “something special,” that specific and personal creativity, that “way with words” which no one else can claim. Stephen King. James Lee Burke. Nicholas Sparks. I could list many more. If you’re a reader, then you have your favorite authors. As a fan of each of these writers, I love their individual styles. Yet, I don’t wish to write like they do. I treasure my own voice, my own writing style. Whatever it is, it’s mine and belongs to no one else. In the thousands, and I do mean thousands, of books I’ve read in my life, only three writers have ever made me think, “Man, I wish I could write like that.” One I won’t reveal (it’s my secret), the others are Sam Shepard (yes, THAT Sam Shepard - the one from The Right Stuff) and Eddie Stack.

     The rhythm of sentences flows like subtle poetry, the kind of poetry you don’t even realize IS poetry until someone tells you. The diversity of sentence lengths keeps your attention. Some are long. Some are short. The vivid, spot-on descriptions – never too much, never too little - are always perfect. Action comes from all over in his stories. Funny action. Silly action. Romantic action. Mean action. It’s all there. The masterful use of alliteration, similes, and metaphors are as soothing as a hot bath. The foreign word choices from a different culture pulls me in like a magnet drawn to metal. I cannot get enough of the humor, the dark situations, the crazy chaos, the surprises, the realness, the fresh takes on ordinary circumstances, the twists, or especially the Irish jargon. Yes, sometimes it confuses me, but I figure it out. It’s so awesome! (Wait...I’m wondering if I should use words like mighty or brilliant here, instead of awesome?)
      Sometimes I read so fast (and don’t absorb the material, the situation, the conversation, the “whatever the hell is going on”), just to get to the end of the page and turn and see what happens next that I’m lost because I don’t understand what I just read. Who said what? What did they do? Wait? What’s happening? My eyes simply skim to get to the end. It’s ridiculous! The writing is so good and smooth, that my eyes and brain unconsciously trick me. But I don’t mind having to go back and reread. By this time, I’m a kid in a candy store trying to decide if I want a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup or a Three Musketeers (and both are my favorite!). In other words, it’s ALL good.
      The way Eddie Stack writes about the Irish, in no way demeans or belittles. A quiet pride smiles between the words and peeks out in his prose. The way Laura Ingalls Wilder shares being poor, and the way Rick Bragg discusses southern living, neither writer ever offends because you can relate if you’ve ever been in similar circumstances. Eddie Stack does the same thing. Although I can’t relate to Irish living, I get the same easy and comfortable feelings from his work. To remember people, to talk about them, to write about them is the best homage one can pay, and as bizarre as the stories are, I’m sure his fiction is rooted in at least a little bit of reality, which is why the stories are so golden.
      So, if you are inclined to be carried away to funny lives, fanatical pubs, desperate people doing desperate things, sadness, elation, wild and real characters, or even if you wish for a new and colorful vocabulary, I encourage you – no I beg you – to read Eddie Stack’s work. He offers free stories on his website if you would like to sample the fabric first before buying yards of it. I am beyond thrilled to both endorse and support his work and consider myself a fan for life.
      Visit his website at www.eddiestack.com where you can find links to all his work. Plus, not only does he cater to paperback readers, he offers ebooks and spoken word stories as well.



Photos snatched from his website! But I snagged the picture of Borderlines off the Internet! :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Sister's Plea Entertwined With Some "Dropkick"


What is it about a sibling? We love them and sometimes we hate them. Yet, at the times when we hate them, we’d fight Satan himself if he said a bad word against our sister or brother. It’s one thing to lose a parent, but when a sibling dies, it’s very different. Furthermore, when they die at a young age, it’s unnatural. If addiction has touched you personally, then you will understand this post. If it has not, consider yourself lucky. My brother was dependent upon pot and alcohol at first. This gave way to his wife finding a needle, which later caused a divorce. Eventually, he swallowed pills, smoked meth, swallowed more pills and died at 30 years old. He’s the little boy in the far left in the picture below. This is my favorite childhood photo. I’m about 12 here.

As a writer, I write about things that move me. Yes, this is the third consecutive post about The Latchiko’s. Forgive me. Their music moves me. I’m way beyond silly crushes on handsome and talented musicians, so I hope you don’t think that’s what this post is about. Being a writer, I love words. When the right music is added to the right lyrics in the most perfect way, then it becomes much more than a song. It becomes magical AND real to me, and in this case – very personal. It is my hope after you read this piece, that their music will move you in magical ways too.

This morning, I awoke at 4:30 am by what felt like a slight whisper on my heart and a soft voice in my ear saying, “Sister, time to wake up.” Weird, because I live alone. It was my brother Charlie’s presence. He died in 2006. I awoke with such a feeling of calmness and warmth. He continued to nudge me as I played track #10 from this wonderful CD, and hit repeat, repeat, repeat over and over again. I’d listen, press pause, then write. Press play, listen, press pause, write more, press play. Listen, then cry. You see, track #10 is “Dropkick”. It’s such a sad, poignant song about addiction and the desire for recovery. The lyrics and music are both tear-jerking yet hopeful at the same time. 
  
For 10 minutes, The Latchiko’s take you on a musical journey of what it must be like to be dependent on things that are so dangerous they’re scary. The music mirrors the hero’s path; slow at first, just as life must be in recovery. Then it picks up. Faster and faster and happier and happier music reflect a more joyful life. The phoenix rises from the ashes in this song. By the end, you’re in love with the hero’s uphill battle and feel so overcome with relief that he saw the light at the end of the abyss.

Of my four younger brothers, I’ve watched three of them battle demons of alcohol and drug abuse. With so many resources for the addicted, Charlie should have sought help. I miss him so much my heart hurts, some days more than others. Today is one of those days. Just because good people make bad choices, it doesn’t make one a bad person. If you know an addict, please encourage them to seek help. When addicts use, they lie, cheat, steal, manipulate, and deceive you…over and over again, because we let them. As we hand over money, food, or a place to crash, we think, “Man, I wish he’d straighten up,” or, “He’s just sorry to be in that state,” or even, “If he loved us, he’d get clean.” But, we cannot begin to fathom the power that addiction holds over its victims. Then, when it’s too late, we (the enablers) carry such blame and guilt; a kind of guilt which is hard to forgive, even years later.

Oh how I wish my brother was the hero in ‘”Dropkick,” but am so very happy for Aindrias. Click on the link below to watch a simple performance of this very moving and sad song. In some of the shots, his eyes glow from what I can only assume is happiness and joy, what a testament to his spirit and character. 


You can find out more about them at their website www.thelatchikos.com where you can get this wonderful music for yourself. I can talk about this CD all day, but until you hear it for yourself...you have no idea how moving it is.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"Sugarbeat Sessions" by The Latchiko's

Music Comes Alive in This Debut Album!

If you don't know what a sugarbeet is, think of a gigantic, non-orange carrot made for the Jolly Green Giant, and it's spelled sugarbeet (with an e), not sugarbeat (with an a). Yet, when it comes to The Latchiko's, they are anything but conventional, and the spelling with an a is in the title of their album, which I just received a few days ago. Now I can't stop playing it and am so addicted it's crazy. Like when KISS released their "Dynasty" LP when I was 9! (I didn't get MY record until I was 11 or 12!); or, when Prince released "Purple Rain" when I was in high school! Believe me, this is better. Waaaay better!
     We all have those cds where one, two, or even three songs we don't really like and can live without. I hated "Let's Go Crazy" by Prince (still do...) and when anyone other than Paul Stanley sang on "Dynasty" I wanted to vomit. However, on this Sugarbeat Sessions album, there is not one song I can live without. NOTHING makes me want to throw up! I love all the songs! The sounds are so chameleon-like, so changing, blooming, and explosive. For little over a month, I've been seeing and hearing bits and pieces of most of this on YouTube. As I finally get to put it all together, it blows me away.


Tim Scanlan performing in New Jersey, March 2013. Photo courtesy of Terri Taylor Tattan




     10 magical, hypnotic, overwhelming, and oh-so-amazing-it-makes-me-smile-tingle-and-dance songs are on this album. After listening to track 1 “Sugarbeat,” I thought, “Wow, this is amazing. It’s my favorite.” Then, after hearing track 2 “Pish Shtains” I thought, “Craaap, THAT’S my favorite.” Then came track 3, and well you get the idea. Each song affects me this way. The diversity of sounds, rhythms, and lyrics fits together like caramel and chocolate, it’s perfectly soothing, satisfying and exciting at the same time. I DO NOT have a favorite because I can’t pick one. 
     With song titles like, “The Shligo Rovers,” “Nova Nova,” and “The Moogaga Jig,” this album is so eclectic, groovy, sexy, up, down, funny, sad, wild, crazy, energetic, spirited, and diverse as are the guys in the band. While Aindrias and Eimhin are from Ireland, Tim hales from Australia. Look at Aindrias, he’s so gypsy-looking it’s unreal. (I think he’s really from Transylvania or Romania and simply wants to say he’s from Ireland. I guess he thinks people like the way the Irish talk? Who knows?) Then, there’s Tim who looks like the cool, hippy cousin (or uncle depending upon your age) you want to go fishing or fighting with. To watch him play his instruments takes my breath away. Then, we come to Eimhin who looks like an accountant rather than a percussionist. Nothing wrong with math, I have a 2-yr degree in Accounting!  His smile, his singing, his beats blend like flour, sugar and eggs to make the most perfect cake. How crazy is this trio? Oh, and by the way – they ALL sing and play. I tell ya, there is method to the madness. But whatever method these guys use, the formula works. To show how crazy they are, Aindrias performs bare-footed here in a performance!
Aindrias de Staic performing in Maryland, March 2013. Photo courtesy of Terri Taylor Tattan.
 
     Listening to “Pish Shtains” is like watching the most flowing, flawless, beautiful Tango dance mixed with the haunting and hallowed sounds of “The Phantom of the Opera” soundtrack. A very dark message of being pulled back into a world of bad behavior and addiction is hidden within groovy, arousing, melodic sounds that you can’t help but move to. I could make a one-man silent play based on this song alone! The contrast of the message and the music is out-of-this-world. Analogies and metaphors abound. Right from the beginning you are blinded to the actual meaning. At first, you think it may be a funny song with funny lyrics simply because of the funny title. Then you hear, “…but as I tried to turn around, but on this muddy ground, the shlope that I was climbing, it was shlippy.” The song ends with these lines:


I woke up three weeks later in a muddle.
In a bed of little weeds I had to cuddle.
My digits they were shtingin,
my head was loudly ringin,
so I caught my own reflection in a puddle.
To focus on this face it was a chore.
I had way too much to drink but needed more.
As I shtood up empty handed,
that puddle he demanded,
“Have we not met somewhere like this before?”


      Track 7 “Reggae Reel” is also mind-numbing. In 4 ½ minutes of instrumental music, I hear three distinct mini-songs. With no break, they bleed together with fascinating efficiency. At first, you don’t even notice. Then, you think, “Is this the same song? Did it change and I didn’t notice?” The first minute contains the slower reggae-style, harmonica-laden, soulful vibrations in a very hypnotic, melting and groovy feel. Second, at the 1:15 mark, the pace increases with faster rhythms and funkier beats. As certain notes get higher, higher, and higher it goes straight into the final part of this song, at around the 2:50 mark, with what I consider traditional Irish music. Blasts of an even faster tempo and an exploding fiddle cut straight to your heart and sizzle like bacon frying.

      Every song is a story. Yet, the voices Aindrias gives to the characters in these story-songs are like when you were a child. If someone read a bedtime story to you and put voices to the characters in the book, the story came alive on a personal level! In these stories, even the music becomes a character with its own changing voices. Not many artists can do this. Nothing is felt forced. It all sounds and feels so natural. Like Frankenstein’s monster, the music itself is alive! And…just as I am left to wonder about the characters in these stories, I also want to know what happens to the music after the songs end. (Told ya’, I’m addicted.)
 
Both Tim and Aindrias in Maryland, March 2013. Photo courtesy of Terri Taylor Tattan.

      If I could have only one CD for the rest of my life, it would be this one! I still don’t have a favorite. Maybe you will once you hear this music combined with storytelling and background elements. It’s so beautiful and inspiring. I wish these guys much success and hope they continue making music together. Music touches us all in different ways. If you want to be touched by wild, raw, sexy, calming, charismatic, electric, tingling tunes, check out “SUGARBEATS” by The Latchiko’s. Each of these guys is a master at his craft, and it shows.
     I urge you to visit their website, look them up on YouTube, do whatever you have to do! You can buy your own cd straight from their website store at www.thelatchikos.com and see for yourself. It's very easy through paypal. Don't let the international transaction scare you.
 
Cover of their CD. Photo courtesy of their website











 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Latchiko's, The Pot of Gold at the End of My Rainbow

Isn't it odd that we always find the strangest things in the most peculiar places, especially when we're not looking for them? That's what happened to me a few weeks ago. While viewing a particular YouTube video, one thing led to another and now I find myself on the edge of stalking (or...as I like to call it - aggressive admiration) this three-man band of misfits. Ok, they're not really misfits, I just like the word and thought it would get your attention faster than words like: talented, funny, smart, spirited, and handsome.

Being born and reared in Southwest Louisiana, music is as much a part of our culture as food and fais do-dos are, and in this connotation do is pronounced dough! With people like Jerry Lee Lewis, Sammy Kershaw, and the soulful, sexy sounds of Buddy Guy and Harry Connick, Jr, our state is rich in music and talent. However, the world stereotypes us. Little do they know we are more than just gumbo and gators. (And we don't marry our cousins anymore either, thank you very much!) Sadly, the Irish are stereotyped too. I wonder if the rest of the world knows there is more to them than being stupid, stubborn, lazy drunks? After reading this post, perhaps both misconceptions can be dismissed.

Have you ever felt compelled to do your own thing, to think outside the box, to blaze your own trail no matter the obstacles? I have...but this piece isn't about me. It's about a band called The Latchiko's.

Aindrias
The 1970s produced folk singers like Joan Baez, Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan. They performed with only their respective instruments. The 80s gave us rock music, big hair, and men who put on make up like Alice Cooper, Poison, and the almighty KISS (who are still rocking it in their 60s). The 90s produced the alternative sounds of grunge with the likes of Soundgarden, Nirvana and of course Pearl Jam. In 2013, The Latchiko's are helping bring back folk music, and I am thankful.

Being born in 1970, I never fully appreciated what people called folk music, until now. The energy, grit and sheer joy displayed by Aindrias de Staic, Tim Scanlan and Eimhin Cradock is infectious. What's super cool about this group is simple: plain, creative expression. That's an oxymoron if you think about it because what's plain about creativity? Is this what folk music is, simple creative expression? I don't know, never been too much for labels. What I do know is I get much pleasure in seeing them enjoy themselves in tiny UK pubs or larger US venues. They are all alone on stage with their instruments, microphones and nothing else to distract  me from the bliss on their faces, or from the lyrics that reach out and grab me, or from the tempo and rhythms that make my heart dance. This is true passion, for them and for me. No theatrics, lights, smoke, stupid costumes, which at times leaves little to the imagination, no "look-at-me-and-be-impressed" gaggle of dancers wanting to be Michael Jackson (no disrespect intended because I loved MJ!), no opening acts that linger for hours making you wish you hadn't spent that $75 on a ticket, no fancy PR or security goons trying to be Michael Corleone of "The Godfather" to keep fans at a safe distance. These guys have none of those stupid, silly, over-the-top, money-sucking distractions. Thank God!

As a writer, I understand the overwhelming desire for creative expression. Just as they are unconventional and unorthodox, so am I. For example, I don't really care if others like my poetry or prose at times. I do it to cleanse my soul. Other times, however, I want my pieces to touch you, to resonate with you somehow. And when that happens, (hell...I don't know if it ever REALLY happens or if people are just being nice, but I like to think it does once in a while) I'm over the moon happy.

Is this what it's like for Aindrias, Tim and Eimhin? I don't know because shit, I don't know them on a personal level. We're not friends, cousins, siblings, old acquaintances, or even enemies. I just like their style, grit, heart and music. I've never seen them live, but maybe one day I'll witness the real smiles on their faces. Maybe one day I'll see the corners of their eyes light up with joy. Maybe one day I'll see their hands and fingers caress instruments or beat on a drum. It could happen...

Tim
If this is what folk music is, consider me addicted. Thank you guys for thinking outside the box and for having the heart to blaze your own trail. Thank you for your creative expression. Thank you for helping me appreciate something 43 years late. You are the pot of gold at the end of my rainbow.

**********

For your viewing pleasure, here is the extended version of "Bondi Junction." Although a shortened version is available on itunes for the ridiculous cost of a dollar! YES, a frickin dollar! http://youtu.be/1DbihZh0pfs and you can google them to find loads more.

Visit Aindrias' website at www.aindrias.com to find he's much, much more than a sober Irish fiddle player.

Photos of Tim and Aindrias courtesy of (and used with permission by) Bryan Kremkau at www.skapunkphotos.com from their performance at Irving Plaza, New York City, March 15, 2013.

Follow The Latchiko's on Twitter at @The_Latchikos and like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheLatchikos

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Save Copper Campaign Continues...10 Copper Facts and Lagniappe

Dear Cineflix,
As a loyal Copperhead from the first episode, it has ripped my heart out that BBC America has canceled the only show I watch. That is not a figure of speech, it is the truth. When Copper debuted last year, I watched on DirecTV, but since then have moved out and do not have cable. So, I literally leave my home on Sunday evenings to watch Copper with someone else at their house. (And got them hooked on it too, by the way!)

Now this... The network claims lower viewership this season as compared with last. Well, when most of the marketing and public relations come from fans and NOT from the PR Department or Marketing Executives who get paid high dollar to DO THEIR JOBS & MARKET THE SHOW, of course the show will suffer. And what of THEIR bosses? Why weren't people on top of this "problem" of low viewership before now? This means many people fell down on his/her jobs in the marketing and advertising departments at BBCA. Regular Joe's don't have the media connections, advertising budget, or networking opportunities which professionals do. We have social media and word of mouth.

Although I am a regular Joe, I do have enough sense to present a justifyable argument as to why Cineflix should shop this show around to another network. You want data? Here are 10 points (which can be verified via reputable sources, just do some digging) to the decision-making executives at Cineflix as to why we Copperheads want to save our 5-Points Family:


1) First airing of Copper in 2012 drew the largest audience of any debut drama for BBCA. Why? Marketing & advertising months out! The campaign was so smooth and the show was so hot, it drew us in from the start and has kept us for two seasons. People were on the ball then, but somewhere along the line dropped it.

2) Second series received 2013 Emmy award for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme. The music is a character itself and draws viewers in like flies to honey.


3) Massive cast/crew followers on Twitter include (as of this typing):
  • Tom Weston-Jones 6,161
  • Kyle Schmidt 8,361
  • Ato Essandoh 14,265
  • Kevin Ryan 67,244
  • Dylan Taylor 1,398
  • Anastasia Griffith 4,000
  • Kevin Diebold 1,052
  • Newcomer Jim Watson 158
These followers alone total over 100,000! That's only a partial audience since many still do not participate in Social Media.

4) CopperTV on Facebook has 74,425 likes!

5) When I created this blog, I titled it Copperhead 1864, because I am a Copper freak! And, if you scroll down the page you can find my Copper Season 1 Quiz.

6) Talented fans have drawn portraits, paintings, and even tats for our favorite 5 Points family members.

7) Kevin Ryan has posted over 116 photos to WhoSay, which fans comment on, like, or even repost to their respective Facebook page.

8) Superfans have created Twitter accounts such as @FYKevinRyan, Tumbler pages http://scottcaanlifeinphotos.tumblr.com/ & websites such as http://simplykevinryan.wordpress.com/ dedicated to the talented, soft & conflicted Detective Francis Maguire. Thank you to Lainie from New York for permission to link tumbler above, and to Stephanie from Wisconsin for permission to link her Kevin Ryan fan site above. Follow both these ladies for more wonderful things about beloved and wonderful actor Kevin Ryan.


9) As I type this, tweets are going out to @BBCAMERICA , @COPPERTV , to the cast and crew showing love and support, and some are coming to you, just like this letter will when I get it typed. Petitions are even being generated online! Fans are posting their outrage and opinions on GetGlue and Pinterest Boards! We are very passionate and want our voices heard. After all, when Kevin Corcoran feels wronged and when justice is not served, he, Andrew, and Francis take action. We are taking action!

10) If you look at CopperTV's Facebook page for 2012 photos, you see plenty of ploys and fan interaction with giveaways, "Caption This," and "Copper Mugshots Option" when the show first aired. When you compare those PR and marketing techniques with this season's attempts, there is no comparison.

Lagniappe: Louisiana for "a little something extra!"

We Copperheads do not give up easily. This show is awesome. It's historical, entertaining, accurate, raw, gritty, sexy, and based on real people and real places. Who gives a shit about "Orphan Black" as referenced in comparison with Copper in an article I read today? See what BBCA is doing here. Pitting its own shows against one another, and the one with the lesser viewers loses. How sick and greedy is that? Copper fans are loyal, generous, and are emotionally invested in the writings of Kevin Dieboldt & Kyle Bradstreet! 

I hope this letter is read. Although it is from one fan (of tens of thousands,) I feel confident in speaking for all Copperheads just this once when I say, WE WANT COPPER!



Thank you for your time and attention to this plea.

P.S. I did apply to both BBCA and Cineflix for a job simply to say I contributed to the network and studio which presented Copper. Didn't get either job, but at least I had the gumption to try.

Best regards,
Sherry Perkins
A Copperhead in Louisiana

*All photos courtesy of CopperTV on Facebook.














Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Banjaxed, Bogman, Bedraggled, and then some...

Can't believe it's been months since I've posted. How time gets away from me. What I would like to share is a brand new writer I recently discovered. Well...HE'S not brand new at all, just brand new to me. The ironic part is I discovered him while crushing on my new favorite band http://www.thelatchikos.com but oh my, that's another post so won't get into that now. The pic below is of them, courtesy of their facebook page!



Originally from Ireland, Eddie Stack makes his home in San Francisco. Winner of numerous awards, his writing is so witty and genuine that it envelopes all of my senses: sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste, in such a way I feel compelled to share with you.

Eddie shares free stories on his website http://www.eddiestack.com and it's these stories I want to elaborate on to give you a taste of his style. His word choices are out-of-this-world. The Irish phrases, though sometimes hard to get at first, are refreshing to those of us who may have heard, "I've got to take a leak" many different ways; yet, I bet you never heard it Eddie's way.

With his permission and blessing, I share these bits and pieces from the noted free stories on his site. (Really hope I can add his books to my library soon.) I know we are taught that each of us has our own voice, our own style. Which we do and should embrace! Don't get me wrong, I embrace my weirdness. It's just...well, I want more of Eddie Stack. I want to read it, absorb it, assimilate some of his wit, rawness, and humor into my style. Maybe, by reading more of his work, it will make me a better writer. Sure hope so. Please enjoy...

 
photo courtesy of www.eddiestack.com


1. Granda and Me
"...wild head of wild white hair..."
"...shouting and cheering like a crowd of jail breakers..."
"...they were cockeyed with drink and anarchy."
"...kept out of my space."
"He belted me until I cried, not with hurt but with rage."
"...as if they'd been branded with a red-hot cattle iron..."

Words I like from this piece: bedraggled, druids, propoganda, and Granda.

2. Limbo
"...ye're as lazy as Sin."
"...we were the flotsam left behind by the tide."
"...becoming more demonic with every stroke."
"...and don't always be looking like a moon calf."
"...sleaze and slaughter."
"Mention of drink, Rasputin and red Russia in the same page was the height of treason."

Words I like from this piece: lout, bards, Jaysuz, sty, drivel, sutach, bogman.

3. Back in the Days of Corncrakes
"...soft scents of summer..."
"...press ganged..."
"...lounged in the caravan like the Rolling Stones before a gig."
"...my feet go rubbery."
"Fullbright didn't own a blade of grass."
"...just shook like a statue in an earthquake."
"I'm bursting to make a lake." (Yeah, guessing from reading the context this means, 'I gotta pee.')

Words I like from this piece: jerkins, arsing, banjaxed

4. Finito
"The Irish had very fertile imaginations."
"...pathetic clothes hanger in a crumpled suit."
"Freud would say she was shooting Larry by proxy."
"Subversive ballerinas, Buddhist butchers, film star typists, lesbian nuns and gay jockeys."

The word I like here is shag! (Yes, it means what you think it means.)

5. The Power of Prayer
"Cop cars cruised swift as sharks..."
"Virgins and villians,..."
"...the broken veins that came from long nights of lonesome drinking..."
"...an exotic fish in these warm seas..."
"Somehow in those twelve peals, God got a foothold."

Words I like from this piece: flummoxed and half-eleven (meaning 11:30)

Hope these tid bits raise your interest enough to visit his site and read for yourself about internet dating from a man's point of view, an uninterested therapist, young lads being in a commercial, a female cop undercover as a prostitute, and a stern Granda. Who knows what words will jump out at you!

Comments are welcome and encouraged. Thanks for taking the time to read, and thank you Mr. Eddie Stack for your encouragment and blessing on this piece.