Entries tagged with “Michael LaGrange”.
Did you find what you wanted?
Thu 18 Apr 2013
The Fires Of Creativity Burn Furiously At The Frankenstone
In honor of National Poetry Month I am hosting a second Hootenanny in April at the Frankenstone Art Center. Special guest will be Muse O’ Fire; an ensemble featuring featuring the words of noted Poet, Writer, Educator, Administrator, and Frankenstone “Poet In Residence” Carolyn Aguila, backed by some of Chicago’s finest Jazz improvisors (including the brilliant Steve Hashimoto). Not to be missed!!!
Frankenstone Art Center
3310 W Foster Ave
Monday, April 22nd. 7PM
Cover- $1.99 (actually $2 but you get a hand-hewn Penny Necklace!) BYOB
Acoustic music and all genres of performance are welcome!!!
I will be bringing my usual melange of Poetry, Storytelling and Standup.
Fri 5 Apr 2013
I will be rockin’ the ‘Stone twice this month in honor of National Poetry Month. The first one will be this coming Monday, April 8.
3310 W Foster. Sign-up at 6:30, Show starts 7ish.
All types of performer are welcome.
Chicago Stand-Up Comic Michael LaGrange made an appearance at the last one, probably will show up again this Monday. He is one twisted soul, you really ought to check him out. Here is a picture of him in Guizhou, China, chillin with some Miao honeys.
The Miao (pronounced like the cat sound) are a hill tribe distantly related to the Hmong.
Wed 13 Mar 2013
I have been hosting a monthly performance night at the Frankenstone Art Center since December; and they have grown from a round table gathering/Paris Salon sort of thang into an actual Open Stage Hootenanny with poets, singers, storytellers, musicians, and even a dancer at the February incarnation of this event that has no name.
As someone who performs in several genres (poet, storyteller, comic, singer/musician) this hosting opportunity has been a wonderful way for me to blow the dust off my performance skill set. I have been trying to imbue the proceedings with a sense of respect for all forms of expression and create a safe space where people can feel comfortable expanding their boundaries and trying new things.
My benchmark of success was always how many people there were who either tried performing/reading for the first time, performing in a new genre, or were at least trying out a new song or piece. And from the first night, when two poets who had never read their work in public before did so with great gusto, that goal has been continually attained and I am pleased as proverbial punch about it.
This next one should be equally awesome, so stop on by and either enjoy the show or be a part of it!
The Frankenstone Art Center is at 3310 W Foster. Festivities begin at 7PM.
Stay tuned for news about the two open stages set for April in honor of National Poetry Month!
Fri 21 Aug 2009
I thought I might provide a breakdown of my experiences at the End of Times event on August 15, both as a participant and spectator.
Since it’s my blog (and I’m so all about me anyway), we shall start with my return to the Spoken Word Performance Art world after a several year hiatus.
It was hotter than all get out both inside and outside of the venue, so it wasn’t difficult to warm up and get that whole “sweat lodge” experience going. Any nervousness about my rustiness was quelled by the warm and accommodating nature of all the performers in the impromptu “green room” (literally, for once) that was the garden area behind the converted church where the event was held. Knowing that these people were all the kind of folks who would be into the sort of thing I was planning to do (I almost don’t care how the audience responds just as long as the other performers respect me, probably a throwback to my stand-up days), I was able to concentrate on getting my shaman on and really focus and emotionally prepare.
This revamped church was the perfect venue for this event and this particular performance of mine; with the curved wooden pews, the lovely giant mural of the Ascending Christ on the back wall, and a still nicely working pipe organ (they even had a tall pulpit stage right). Israel Alpizar (one of the event organizers and member of the art rock assault force that is Donoma) brought me up and I settled in with a few blathering opening remarks and the set up for the first poem I read, one I wrote several years ago, called Johnny Griffin (about seeing the legendary jazz tenor player for the first time). Here it is:
By Michael Corcoran
I’m sitting at the tiny table like a kid at Christmas
Waiting to open presents
I want to turn around and scream
At the old man in the back of the club
Who stands there like some living diorama
History embodied in stooped shoulders
And a laugh like sandpaper rubbing wax
He’s talking with friends he hasn’t seen in a year
It’s just another show for him
A day in his life
But it’s Church/the Grand Canyon/Stonehenge/Voodoo
and the Art Institute to me
And I want the priest/professor/shaman to get his ass onstage
To recreate that missed moment in time I mourn for
Finally he looks up as if suddenly noticing the stage
And remembering who he is
He sidles towards it and the musicians suddenly materialize
Like flickering ghosts called forth
The ceremony’s about to begin
Set the Way Back Machine for 52nd Street!
The sax is a bolt of captured lightning in his hands
That throws off sparks of incandescent joy
Contorting sorties of psychedelic hummingbirds
Weave around our bobbing heads and twitching legs
The barrier’s eroded between heaven and earth
Spirit/Man/Horn now one circuit
A transistor radio picking up the Music of the Spheres
A Pentecostal Reverend speaking tongues of golden fire
Drums beat waves of thunder like echoes of Krakatoa
The throbbing pulse of quasars at the edge of infinity
Sometimes he pulls the horn from his mouth
And gasps in a hoarse orgasmic rasping growl
Like the mating cry of galaxies
The rumble of drifting continents
The universe awakening from a dream
It’s probably the best poem I’ve ever written (not that I’m Milton or anything), and (despite my rust) it turns out that I’m still able to bring it as an orator; so the already warm and receptive crowd was now really on board as I segued into the second piece (which I wrote especially for this show). It is a lyric visionary performance poem that dealt with several of the themes of the event, is untitled for now (just realized I never got past Sacred Geometry Performance Piece.doc- I’ll have to think up a title), and at least for the moment shall only be orally disseminated (that means I ain’t going to print it out here).
That second piece went extremely well (no matter how many times you recite something in your dining room you can never tell how it’s going to actually work onstage), and I really wanted to focus and bear down for the narrative storytelling piece that closed my show.
I explained that it was a segment taken from a much larger solo show I had created as a school project years before, entitled Thirty Circles (pretty much the oral narrative of the first thirty years of my life), then provided some background to make up for the forty five minutes of exposition that precedes this particular story in Thirty Circles.
I intoned an ancient Irish storyteller’s incantation to bring back the sacred story circle vibe that had been broken by all my ‘splaining of stuff and launched into it. The tale seems a bit sordid and loses its effect if I just dryly synopsize it (besides, you folks gotta come see it live sometime), so I’ll forgo any play by play; but it lasted about 12 minutes or so, I really got into the telling, everyone seemed to enjoy it, and it proved to be a very nice cap on what was an incredible performance experience for me and a perfect return to my roots (the rebirth of my artist within- if you will).
I headed to the back garden green room and took a moment to come down from the powerful emotions that are brought up when one does a performance of that sort, then headed back inside to see the next band, Things Falling Apart.
I was going to make this just one big monster post, but it looks as it would be best split it up into two sections to save everyone (especially myself) some eye strain. Next post will be about the 5 incredible bands that were also there that night.
Have a great weekend, ya’all!!!
Thu 13 Aug 2009
I just wanted to plug an event that some good friends of mine are putting on this Saturday in Wicker Park.
It shall feature some very inventive young bands, experimental video and graphics, and even yours truly (under my performing pseudonym). I’ll be doing a narrative story piece or two (something I haven’t done in a few years) and a lyric visionary poem (something I haven’t done in a few decades). It’s going to be a little harrowing for me since I’m a bit out of practice, but it will be quite nice to knock the dust off my shamanism (as it were).
The whole event promises to be very arty, free-wheeling, and more than a tad wacky (in a Flaming Lips kind of way); not to mention rather loud, intense, and raucous at times. So leave your bourgeois sensibilities at home and don’t forget your earplugs (unless you’re used to that sort of thing).
Come on down, it’s gonna be a lot of fun!