DC history

Stylus ensemble memorial concert for Keith Sinzinger on Friday, February 1

stylus-keith-mem

This Friday, February 1, turntable ensemble Stylus will perform at a memorial concert honoring ensemble member Keith Sinzinger. The concert will include performances by Art & Amber (theremin duo), Hawkins & Mullinax, Liquid Friction Ensemble, and the trio Beau, Bev, DeJoe. The event will be held at Rhizome DC. Admission is $10 at the door, with proceeds going to sponsor a DIY electronic workshop scholarship in Keith’s name.

A mainstay of the DC experimental music scene, Keith Sinzinger was known for inventing strange musical instruments from found materials, circuit bending children’s musical toys, and collaborating with just about everyone else in the scene in different projects. In particular, he was an inaugral member of the Stylus ensemble, a group using Califone turntables and prepared LPs to create atonal musical works under the direction of Jim Adams. Keith’s passing last November caught us all by surprise, and his enthusiastic, supportive presence in the scene, as well as his creative music, will be missed.

For more info about the show, go to the Facebook event page here.

Flashback: DC Poetry Slam and Reading at 15 Minutes Club

The 90’s called. They want their poetry slam poster back!

I found two copies of this double-sided flier in a folder of old literary correspondence. I used to regularly attend the open mic readings at 15 Minutes Club, on 15th Street in DC, run by Art Schuhart (editor of GYST journal). I developed my “surreal rant” style work to present there, reading those pieces as loud and fast as possible.

Poetry slams were a big thing in the 90s, like the grunge rock of poetry. I can’t remember if I ever participated in a slam, though. Schuhart also ran the slam team, and once asked if I wanted to join. But in my opinion, poetry is not a competition. Besides, the people who won always seemed to rap, talk about their sex lives, or tell jokes. I don’t mind any of that stuff, but my own writing never seems to come out that way.

The “reading” side may spark some interest for featuring punk poet Jim Carroll on Sept 7 (exact year unknown). DC poetry geezers may remember Dean Blehert and Miles David Moore, two prominent local writers in what you might call the “Federal School”: bureaucrats turned poets. Reston, VA-based Blehert issued a monthly newsletter promoting his own work (and lots of puns), while Moore hosted a long-running reading at Arlington’s Iota Club.