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.

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...

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.