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Music Today: Athena Reich live

Hold on to what is good even if it is a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe even if it is a tree which stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do even if it is a long way from here.
Hold on to life even when it is easier letting go.
Hold on to my hand even when I have gone away from you.
- Pueblo Blessing

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Sunday, Oct. 26, 2003 - 3:32 a.m.

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Athena and Zines Under Attack

A strange perception thing.

As I was coming out of a coffeeshop, two people were walking by my dog, with disgusted looks on their faces, and I caught the tail end of a sentence: "lying in its own piss..."

And I guessed what they saw... a dog lying in a wet spot on the pavement. I hastened to say... excuse me, yes, the sidewalk is wet, but it is from giving her drinking water... and I showed the bottle of water I always carry on a strap over my shoulder for her.

The faces on the two people completely transformed from utter disdain and disgust to open, caring and friendly... I had changed from an owner of a disgusting filthy creature to a caring owner who made sure her sweet doggy had fresh water.

It was amazing the transformation. And amazing to me as an eyeopener about how what we THINK we see creates our view of the world and thus our attitudes. Where they saw piss, they suddenly saw clean water.

It made me think of the studies of "eyewitness reports" and how very few people got "facts" straight about what they "saw" with their "own two eyes". It is fascinating. Makes me wonder how often I make mistakes myself. AND i must remember that when I see people reacting towards me as well... what I think is perfectly evident (in this case that I had a nice clean dog that was well-taken care of) may be completely misinterpreted.

Tonight I went to see Athena Reich in concert at Pharmacie Esperanza. She was playing with two other women, one of whom was a spunky rather folky girl in a orangepink plaid shirt, black jeans and lowslung navaho style metal belt. The other was a buxom young woman with voluptuous long hair, who oozed sensuality (hey, she's in love) while she sang with a big nuanced voice. Athena herself had the same take-over stage presence (think Annie singing "tomorrow" in the musical... or "Annie Get Your Gun") she had when I performed with her at the Funhouse in August. She has a very versatile voice and goes from belting out a song to a conspiratorial low voice to a chicken's cluck! I recommend her cd "Athena Under Attack" which is a rock opera musical about Sept 11. Yes, I know we've all had enough of Sept 11, but her musical is a mix of political violence and domestic violence, anarchy and patriotism. I find myself playing it multiple times over. mmm. good. She sang a whole set from that tonight.

One cool thing is that it turns out she is a fan of my comics. It is always exciting when I meet someone who knows my comics and hadnt realized it was me (ie they arent sucking up to me... it just comes out they know and collected my stuff)... she said she bought copies of both my books when she was 17, at Toronto Women's Bookstore, and she still lends them out and recommends them to people. She said it was very affirming to her to find a bi-dyke character she could totally relate to. It's funny.. I think it was mentioned on her website or something that she is bi... but I hadnt even thought about it.

I also met her wonderful girlfriend Jesse tonight. Jesse is in artschool and a real sweetie. Hopefully she will send me her website and I can link it here. All in all, a better, more fun, more feeling connected to people night than I had imagined it would be. After all, I was just being supportive of a DIY girl with a big voice who I'd seen once on stage.

I should also mention that today there was a zine expo here in Montreal. I ran into a guy postering for it early in the week when I was postering for Athena... I hadnt even heard about it before. I am SOOO out of the loop. I planned NOT to go, as I was going to Athena tonight, but ended up walking my dog by there and spending an hour or two. It was great... lots of tables of presenters and the quality was great. I was asked quite a few times if I am still cartooning. I guess I should start again. Get something done for APE in San Fran in Feb.

I met some people who do the Bookmobilezine project (they have a silver trailer they drag around the states and Canada, full of self-published and small press zines and books, and do bookbinding workshops etc in different towns)... it is very exciting and inspiring to me.

I also met a young woman Karine who does very cool handmade books that are multimedia. I love handson stuff like that... fabric scraps next to images, sheets of bounce next to writing. The associations the mind and hands make are endlessly open. She reminded me of Kristyn Dunnion when she was in art school years ago and had a handmade book in a show at Concordia.

I ran into JoEllen Housego there as well... she used to play violin with the Snitches. She is putting out little zines and involved in some very strange fake jesus cult project, which is partly radio show, partly publishing and partly performance/happenings. They may invite me to partake one day in a mass! :) She told me that Kristyn has her first children's book out now: Missing Matthew. Unfortunately I can see it is Forthcoming in the National Library of Canada site, but no internet mention of it other than that. I have high hopes for it. Apparently according to Joellen, Kristyn is following up with an adult anarchist novel about teenage punks or somesuch called Mosh Pit. That sounds more like Kristyn!!

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previous meanderings - future past

Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Taking Care of Your Cows - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Saint Joseph robs the cradle and eats spaghetti - Sunday, Jun. 14, 2009
sticky notes and broken irises - Friday, Jun. 12, 2009
The FOODCOMMANDER - Monday, Jun. 08, 2009


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