mildred pierce zine


Jimmy Joe Roche at Rare Gallery, through Feb. 3
January 25, 2011, 12:06 pm
Filed under: art, comedy, grotesque, interview | Tags: , , , ,

A still from one of the videos in "Under Pressure"

This week would be a good week to go and check out Under Pressure, Jimmy Joe Roche’s solo show at Rare Gallery in New York. I myself am trying to make it back there,  having attended the opening a few weeks back. I am really excited about this show, and eager to get a second, closer look at some of the videos and installations before the show comes down. The forthcoming issue of Mildred Pierce features a profile of Roche and his work. If you have not been already, check out his site, and check out the show, up through February 3.  Rare Gallery is at 547 W 27 St, #514, New York, NY.

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Sabrina Chap! a teaser
September 29, 2010, 5:16 pm
Filed under: interview, music | Tags: , , ,

photo by Dave Sanders

In the works for MP4 is an interview with Sabrina Chap, musician, playwright, burlesque performer, writer, editor, all-around dynamo. She edited the anthology Live Through This: On Creativity and Self-Destruction (Seven Stories Press, 2008) — I’ve posted her responses to questions about the collection over on Montevidayo in three parts: one, two, and three.

Here’s a short excerpt of our interview about Oompa!, her debut CD (ERT Records, 2010):

I’ve been songwriting for years. Years. This is the first time I’ve been brave enough to say, “Fuck it. I think these songs are good enough. Let me put them down so I can get on with my life.” I’ve had people ask me for CDs ever since I started songwriting. First ten songs I had- people were like “Where’s your CD?” I was like, “They’re my first ten songs. They’re not very good.” (Though I’m not gonna lie: a few of them were pretty good). Still, I was getting people giving me their CDs for free left and right at every coffeehouse I went to, and I’d go home to listen to them and they’d suck. And then I’d throw them away and feel awful, because it was wasteful. In fact, that was why I wasn’t shy about making chapbooks and selling them when I was a spoken word artist. I though, “Fuck it — if someone doesn’t like it, they can just recycle it and I won’t have to be filling landfills.” You can’t recycle bad CDs. I’m really hard on myself, and I didn’t want to put out a bad one.

When I got into the studio with Oompa!, it really was because I was straight up proud of these songs. “Never Been a Bad Girl,” “Idiom,” and “ Little White House”: That’s good songwriting. I’ll argue it in court.

Saving the rest for the print issue — January 2011. And that one is firm.



Issue Four contribs

We welcome aboard the following writers, artists, and interviewees to the slow cruise ship that is MP#4:

James Tadd Adcox, Marc Baez, Max Eisenberg, Carrie Fucile, Bonnie Kaserman, Joyce Kuechler, Vicky Lim, Leeyanne Moore, Ed Choy Moorman, Dan Moseley, Ellen Nielsen, Jimmy Joe Roche, Sean Samoheyl, James Solitaire, Jennifer Tidwell.

Glad to have you! The rollout may be slow but it is sure.



Meghan Eckman at SXSW, Mildred Pierce Parks for Free
March 15, 2010, 1:22 pm
Filed under: art, interview

Mildred Pierce fanatics will remember filmmaker Meghan Eckman from her appearance in the pages of Issue #3, talking about music, filmmaking, and the BIG PICTURE–as in, what is this thing called life, and how does one present the proverbial slice of it, filmically? And then do it with enough consistency to be considered an artist at it?

At the time of Mildred Pierce Issue 3,

Illustration from Mildred Pierce 3 by Erik Carter

Eckman was in the process of filming a documentary about Charlottesville, Virginia’s storied “Corner Parking Lot,” where, at the time, I was an employee. I remember being somewhat skeptical of how the concept could come across on film, but she pressed on, determined that the story of the parking lot reach the masses.

And lo and behold, not only has The Parking Lot Movie been completed, it just premiered as an official selection at this year’s SXSW Film Festival!! To boot,  Eckman and the film were featured on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.  I think that I, John B, one half of Mildred PIerce editorial board, am mentioned in the radio piece (although my voice does NOT ‘appear’ in the final edit as implied) and may even be featured in The Parking Lot Movie itself! I say “may” half joking because I haven’t seen any of the film yet! I am excited for the Virginia premiere on March 27th.  Congratulations to Meghan Eckman and The Parking Lot Movie–we knew her when. Read on after the jump for the full issue 3 interview, wherein Eckman talks noise music,  movies, 9-11,  and freedom!

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Starving Artist Interview #6: Brandon Holmquest
February 23, 2010, 1:43 am
Filed under: interview | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

In MP3, Brandon Holmquest was interviewed about Calque, the translation journal he edits with Steve Dolph; he also generously contributed some translations of Nadaist Manifestos for the issue. His literary activities since include a translation of Manuel Maples Arce’s City: Bolshevik Superpoem in 5 Cantos forthcoming very soon from Ugly Duckling Presse; and a book of his own poems, The Sorrows of Young Worthless, right behind it on Truck Press. (And hey, hey, what’s that you say? Brandon will soon be joining us on this here blog.)

BEHOLD: Holmquest on hunger, theft, cigarettes.

Brandon Holmquest

If/when (now or in the past) you have used the term “starving artist”** in relation to yourself, how literal are we talking in terms of actual starving? What would you count as part of the territory that comes with being a “starving artist” and what would you disallow?

I myself have never used the term in a self-referential way. It has occasionally been put forth by someone else, usually in jest. This is one of those terms that don’t get used that much anymore, however accurate they may be, like “bohemian” for example. I have used the snooty, Joycean term “inanition aficionado” on at least one occasion, but again I was joking.

That said, we are talking about some actual starving. I was on what I called the one-meal-a-day plan for years. When I came to Philly the first time this morphed into the one-hoagie-a-day plan. I would eat one substantial thing in the middle of my nocturnal day, and supplement that with something like bread and olive oil as necessary.

None of this ever seemed like that big a deal to me, though. Having been homeless a couple times as a teenager, a whole hoagie everyday was material wealth to me. In the homeless days I used to cadge pizzas out of dumpsters and day-old donuts from delivery guys. Or just go hungry.

What would you say is your general level of starving as a starving artist? By that I mean, when you look around you, or think about starving artists in history, how would you place yourself in a kind of spectrum?

I wouldn’t place myself very high on the historical continuum, cause you’d have to be an idiot to starve to death in this country, an idiot or a suicidal germophobe. Khlebnikov died of hunger, so he’s a ten, and I suppose John Updike or some talentless New York hack like him would be a zero. I have known very few people who I’d classify as starving artists in my own life. The overwhelming majority, all but a handful of people, have had at least some money. I think a five might be as high as a contemporary American could even get, in the worst-case scenario.

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Starving Artist Interview #5: Davis Schneiderman
January 25, 2010, 1:47 pm
Filed under: art, interview | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Davis Schneiderman swoops in from above to scavenge more dead, dying, & live! writhing with desire! language while eagerly mocking us all. Davis was interviewed in MP#3 about collaborative fiction and his novel Abecedarium. Since then, here’s the news:

My novel, Drain, will be published in June 2010 by Northwestern University Press, with a fantastic afterword by Megan Milks. It’s about a near-future where Lake Michigan empties of water, and all sorts of crazy starving-artists stuff goes down. Why not pre-order a copy for your loved ones here? And I am trying to blog more often here.

1) If/when (now or in the past) you have used the term “starving artist”** in relation to yourself, how literal are we talking in terms of actual starving? What would you count as part of the territory that comes with being a “starving artist” and what would you disallow?

Davis Schneiderman

I use this term when reading Kafka’s “The Hunger Artist” which is sometimes translated as “The Fasting Artist” or “The Starving Artist” and fills itself with ennui and anonymity at the decline of public interest in the starving-artist spectacle. I read the story, conversely, after a feeding frenzy that consumes everything possible at the local all-you-can-eat/eat-all-you-can buffet establishments: Chinese and American. How much lo mein can i eat in one sitting? Can i make a steam-table parcel of reddish-pink Alaskan snow crab legs disappear by the time you finish a series of slow belches? Just you watch me, Kafka, just you watch.

2) What would you say is your general level of starving as a starving artist? By that, I mean, when you look around you, or think about starving artists in history, how would you place yourself in a kind of spectrum?

Less than Ghandi. More than Ben Kingsley.
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Starving Artist Interview #4: Leeyanne Moore
January 15, 2010, 11:05 pm
Filed under: art, interview | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Our series of Starving Artist Interviews (defiantly sans scare quotes!) continues with fiction writer, playwright, and longtime MP contributor Leeyanne Moore on the hard times and the life skillz she got out of em:

The marvelous Leeyanne Moore reads as part of MP's Issue 3 release party at the Bridge.

The starving-est time had to be when I took the big leap. After years of earning only minimum wage, I was working at an after-school program. I got no respect, not enough hours, and hated the alky boss with a passion that left me stinking with rage. I literally suffered from Rage-Sweat, each night peeling off my clothes to take a bath (our little attic appartment only had a bath stuck under the eaves) and my husband and I would notice how badly I stank from the stress.

So I quit and decided to start teaching creative writing workshops to children and teens. I kinda snuck in under the radar at this arts organization where I’d started taking writing workshops myself, and sent out fliers in the summer. The first day of the first week, no one came. I sat there alone at a table with paper and colored pens and felt pretty bad. But when I got home there were two messages on the answering machine and the second day of class I had three students. The fourth student showed up by walking into the room through the emergency exit. She had Asperger’s but was an awesome writer and I was on my way to never being employed by anyone else again.

I think that being a full time writer takes that same kind of business creativity that it takes to start a business. As someone once said: a lot of people are talented writers. The most successful writers are talented at managing their talent. For me, teaching those workshops became a set of life lessons in being entrepreneurial that have stayed with me. The most successful times I’ve had as a writer have had the same feel as that breathtaking plunge where I left behind the regular paycheck once and for all.