Monday, December 28, 2009

Laughing Your Way Into The New Year!


'09 is coming to an seems to have gone by quickly...was that 365? Felt productive, but, quick. Did lots of performing, started a new full length piece, recieved another grant from the wonderful Marsh thru another year with the District...spent another amazing year with the beautiful Susan and made alot of music. That sounds like a good year....and here is a really great way to end the year for us all. My very good friend Bruce Pachtman is producing...not one, but, two very funny events for New Year's Eve. Not a bad choice between them....

W. Kamau Bell, Nato Green and Hari Kondabolu are bringing in the new year at the Phoenix Theater in San Francisco....

click here to find out more info;

Internationally known Improv Troupes join forces at the Cowel Theater, Fort Mason

click here to find out more info;

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Richard James

HAPPY HOLIDAYS !!!! to all my family and friends

A while back I wrote and recorded a holiday story that I shared with a small circle of family and friends. It was a "one-take" recording at my good friend and collaborator Mark Kenward's downstairs studio....the story is called "Richard James: A Holiday Story"

Well, now through the magic of technology....I am able to share this piece with even more family and friends. How cool is that?

...I wish you all things wonderful for the holiday and the new year!

Click here to listen!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

So, a few months back, I was going around asking folks if they had seen "The Hurt Locker". Most people looked at me with that furrowed brow "Huh?"...kinda stare. No one I knew had seen it and I know some real cinemahounds...and because of that I started to wonder... had I seen it?

I mean it was all under suspect circumstances, no witnesses, I had taken my self to the movies no girlfriend or buddy...just me in my favorite little movie theater, CINEARTS, in Pleasant Hill. I can remember coming out of the theater a little disoriented...wanting to talk to someone about it and having no where to go with my thoughts.

So, I believe I tucked it away....forgot about it...or I had never seen it...not sure.

Then I read that "The Hurt Locker" has won several awards lately including the Los Angeles Film Critics and New York Film Critics Circle awards for "Best Film".

...and like an old acid trip...the film comes back to me, as clear as if I just saw it this past weekend. This movie is was something that I felt as much as watched.

It is about the soldiers in an Army bomb squad unit in Iraq...the movie is well written by a guy named Mark Boal and directed by Kathryn Bigelow, both of whom were also nominated for awards. not that I need the LA or New York critics to validate my opinions....remember I am the guy who told you to see "Bubba Ho-Tep" (the best Elvis/Zombie/Kennedy conspiracy movie ever made)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The John Henry Chronicles

Wayne Harris reinvents the legend of John Henry, the powerful ex-slave whose hammer helped shape America. Visit us for the newly released version for 'adults' Sunday November 29th at the Stagewerx Theatre 533 Sutter San Francisco at 6PM. Buy tickets now at

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Sunday morning I am sitting on the front porch , Concord California.

The house sits at a crook in the block on one of those residential inlets off of a primary artery that runs the length of town.

Perfectly chiseled sidewalks serving as a frame for the lawns and driveways that lead up to the ranch style 3 and 4 bedroom houses.

I want to talk about porches.

There are very few porches on this block. That’s unfortunate. Where I grew up, In St. Louis…every house on our block had a porch…even the two story apartment building at the end of the block….porches on both floors.

The porches were kind of a launching pad for most of us kids in the neighborhood…they were perches for the old folks….and my mom and the other ladies on the block swapped thinly veiled gossip….

“Uh huh, you know Margaret did not let that girl go out the house lookin’ like that….she need to stop runnin’ after that man….be at home a little more to keep an eye on that little fast girl of hers”

"Uh huh....Lord Jesus"

There would be a porch where the girls would dominate the stairs....perched in a layered hierchy…. steps to red brick sides to the braided lawn chairs…us guys would kinda move from porch to porch based on who’s parents were out.

There was always, it seemed, a stream of people moving down the side walks…conversations and salutations bouncing back and forth to the porches….a kind of drum song….connecting us all.

As I am writing this in Concord, I realize I don’t know the guy who lives three house down from me .…there is no drum song here on my block….there is the house on our left that has a bunch of guys who hang out in the garage with their girlfriends….but, it is rare to see someone walking down the street …unless they are walking a dog , always buffered from the neighborhood by a jog or an ipod.

Now, before you accuse me of the “white folks do this and Black folks do that rant”….I don’t think it’s a color thing….ever met someone from Brooklin?....there the "stoops" are the anchors of the drum song…they know what I'm talking about…white, black Puerto Rican…don’t matter.

Must be a cultural thing and in our so called “melting pot” all kinda folks get caught up in a culture….start believing in the community or genre’s “expectations”

For whatever reason…. The construct here seems to dictate that the lawn, sidewalk and driveway act as a buffer between folks.

Now, there does seem to be something to these “Yard Sales”….that have the ability to draw the village together….and admitting that I am an immigrant to this “culture”….maybe I need to observe that phenonmana for the drum song I am missing.

....but, on this Sunday morning...I am missing porches. Porches and stoops have the ability to connect a neighborhood Lawns tend to separate the homes from the street…creating an manicured palet that seems to disconnect neighbor from neighbor.

On this Sunday morning, I am feeling disconnected...oh well.

This is my porch...and I think I will play the role of old folks perching...or maybe the Ladies from my old block dishin' and testifyin' now and then.

Well, we will see what this porch sitting will become...if nothing else it will give me the opportunity to share with you what's up with me as artist and neighbor. You are welcome to respond...with comments, questions ar jusst to say "Shut the fuck up, you are embarrassing yourself"

Take care.