Saturday, July 4, 2015

A WESTERN CAPITOL HILL




Please send an email to gregoryego(at)gmail.com with the word "Subscribe" in the subject line, in order to find about book updates and specials events.






REVIEW: DENVER BOOKS EXAMINER




Review by Zack Kopp at the Examiner.com:

*****

June 28, 2015 7:04 PM MST
A Western Capitol Hill by Gregory Daurer

Rating: ***** (Five Stars)

The redoubtable Ken Babbs introduced this reporter to local writer Gregory Daurer aka singer and songwriter Gregory Ego, who will be appearing as the second featured performer in the now monthly (every first Monday at 7) Them Punk Arts variety shows at Mutiny Information Café hosted by myself and attended by a smattering of ever more unpredictable types wandered in off the street or saw our ad on Facebook, beating drums, blowing pipes, performing magic, doing improve acting reading from Shakespeare or giving a lesson on plumbing. Besides being a singer and writer of songs who plays a mean guitar, Mr. Daurer is the author of A Western Capitol Hill, a darkly comedic tale of lust and avarice, set in the New West, complete with bad sex, bad drugs, and bad rock ‘n’ roll; it's barbed satire as applicable to our recent national zeitgeist as it is to the Mile High City. Daurer will also be performing a few of his songs at the event. His guitar playing is jagged and even tempered.

"Denver deserves satire that doesn't present the city in the best of light," Daurer says. "My novel, A Western Capitol Hill, spotlights Denver in a fashion similar to how A Confederacy of Dunces treats New Orleans, Portlandia pokes fun at Portland, and the films of John Waters dish out the violent and trashy sides of Baltimore. Similarly, my music takes on themes familiar within my fiction writing: loss, dislocation, off-kilter ideologies. The songs are witty, acerbic visions of life on this wonderful--yet heartbreaking--Planet Earth." The first thing that happens in Daurer’s book is linkage of present or near present day Denver ethos with that of the early dwellers by invoking the timeless train spine riding the same land from ever since, and the prairie dogs who’ve been watching with ears perked beside their burrowed out holes for the same length of time, hosting readers into the perfect timeless bubble to digest his brand of humor. Then a collection of both legally and illegally medicated local characters dish the mythos of Colfax Ave. longest street in the west from within the battered hull of an accursed number Fifteen bus. At which point, readers are introduced to a city worker named Rafael employed to administer hallucinogenic poison to deter pigeons from crapping on the State capitol. “It scares the other birds away when one of them starts freaking out for no apparent reason. The pigeon that’s tripping its brains out might recover. But many don’t.” Then we meet the Senator who appeals to Jehovah concerning his flat tire, and meet the sympathetic Garrett, who doesn’t feel sure about anything, really, but keeps on going, day by day, in search of any driving reason to continue. Antidepressant drugs? Therapy? A change in diet? Readers will find themselves pleasantly engrossed in these characters’ interplay and entertained by their absurdity, each life a pixel in America’s postmodern Big Show.

Daurer records music under the moniker Gregory Ego, in addition to participating on the sonic collaboration Reverend Lead Pipe & His Pipe-Wielding Swingers. As a freelance writer and photographer, Daurer has been published by Juxtapoz, Salon, 5280, Headpress, The Huffington Post, Draft, Culture, and High Times. His interviews with noted authors (T.C. Boyle, Tom Robbins, William Gibson, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs) have been reprinted by, or cited within, scholarly books and a documentary film. A Western Capitol Hill is his first novel.

AUTHOR APPEARANCE: iCANNABIS RADIO



I appeared on the iCannabis Radio show "Bibliophilia" (7/1/15) to discuss Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas with host Becca Chavez, citing the influence of Hunter S. Thompson on my own writing.

Listen to it here.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

EVENTS


I will be reading from A Western Capitol Hill and playing a song or two at Mutiny Information Cafe on Monday 7/6/15. Please see the press release below for more information on the July date, as well as general information.
*****
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Gregory Daurer has been selected as the featured artist for the July 6th edition of the monthly variety show Them Punk Arts. The event will take place at Mutiny Information Cafe (2 S. Broadway, Denver) on Monday July 6, 2015 from 7-10 p.m. (Daurer will begin at approximately 8:30 p.m.)
Daurer will be reading from his novel A Western Capitol Hill, a darkly comedic tale of lust and avarice, set in the New West, complete with bad sex, bad drugs, and bad rock ‘n’ roll; it's barbed satire as applicable to our recent national zeitgeist as it is to the Mile High City. Daurer will also be performing a few of his songs.

Daurer records music under the moniker Gregory Ego, in addition to participating on the sonic collaboration Reverend Lead Pipe & His Pipe-Wielding Swingers. As a freelance writer and photographer, Daurer has been published by Juxtapoz, Salon, 5280, Headpress, The Huffington Post, Draft, Culture, and High Times. His interviews with noted authors (T.C. Boyle, Tom Robbins, William Gibson, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs) have been reprinted by, or cited within, scholarly books and a documentary film. A Western Capitol Hill is his first novel.

"Denver deserves satire that doesn't present the city in the best of light," Daurer says. "My novel A Western Capitol Hill spotlights Denver in a fashion similar to how A Confederacy of Dunces treats New Orleans, Portlandia pokes fun at Portland, and the films of John Waters dish out the violent and trashy sides of Baltimore. Similarly, my music takes on themes familiar within my fiction writing: loss, dislocation, off-kilter ideologies. The songs are witty, acerbic visions of life on this wonderful--yet heartbreaking--Planet Earth."
Them Punk Arts is a monthly variety show hosted by author Zack Kopp, The show has presented musicians, poets, monologists, authors, and magicians. Kopp also recently published the book The Denver Beat Scene, which spotlights Denver's connection to literary figures like Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Neal Cassady. (Kopp and Daurer were first introduced to each other, via email, by Ken Kesey and Neal Cassady's fellow Merry Prankster, the author Ken Babbs.)

*****

Check out the cover art for A Western Capitol Hill, on display at Wazee Union through the evening of First Friday on 7/3/15.


Author Gregory Daurer alongside the cover art for his novel.


And while you're there, pay a visit to Studio #4: aka Studio Lyrico, where artist Larry Hubbell creates his illustrations and prints. Not only has Hubbell provided the graphics for my novel, he also created the t-shirt design for Wazee Union, itself.


Artist and printmaker Larry Hubbell.

Dome-da-dome-dome! Dome-da-dome-dome-dome! (#68)




Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dragon Iconograpy (#5): Mythic Creatures.


When Gregory stands in front of the museum's green screen,  everything turns all Tolkienesque.

On the same day that my novel A Western Capitol Hill was published, a new exhibit called Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids opened at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. A fine synchronicity.

The exhibition delineates the difference between Eastern and Western dragons: i.e., as incarnations of either "good" (in Eastern cultures) or "evil" (in Western). It's a realm also explored within my book.

Furthermore, there might be more than a passing resemblance between the dragon that I'm standing next to in the image above (visitors can create their own photo souvenir at the exhibit) and the Denver Dragon in my novel--which comes complete with orange skin and blue eyes (see Larry Hubbell's cover illustration for A Western Capitol Hill).

The museum, itself, receives a mention in my novel:

Huberman plans on taking a busload of children on a field trip to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in City Park. There, he’ll directly confront the messages that the kids have been receiving from secular society regarding Creation, regarding Genesis.

He’ll teach the students that a “Godless evolutionist” had written the exhibits’ scholarly texts, which are “wrong, wrong, wrong” regarding the origins of geological formations and the time line upon which animals had first appeared. He’ll discuss how God created dinosaurs on the sixth day, along with Adam. He’ll mention how dinosaurs are referred to in the bible as “leviathans” or “behemoths.”

A helmet like this appears in my book:


St. George makes an appearance in both book and exhibit:



Pure coincidence? Take that!




Monday, March 23, 2015

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Season's Greetings From A Western Capitol Hill.


 Allen Tupper True's murals of idealized Indians look down
upon the Xmas Tree at the old Colorado National Bank building 
(now the Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center Hotel.)


 Put a star on a parking garage and it'll look holy!


 Holiday wreath next to a Know the Law poster--informing 
people that public marijuana consumption remains 
illegal--attached  to a downtown Denver info kiosk.


Thank God! Boxers. Medium, please.


 Grigor the Red-Nosed Author.


Keep back! Magi worshiping miraculous child, behind fence,
at Denver's City & County building.


It's Blue Balls Season for Santa, until after the 25th. 
(No stocking stuffer jokes, please)



Thursday, November 6, 2014

Art Appreciation. (#1)


 Artist Larry Hubbell (aka Harry Lyrico) displaying his preliminary work for the cover of  
A Western Capitol Hill.

A few years ago, I wrote about artist Harry Lyrico, mentioning how I enjoyed a surrealist sort of cartoon strip of his that used to run in the Denver arts magazine Icon back in the early '90s.

What I didn't know about Lyrico back then is that his real name is Larry Hubbell--the name he's also produced work under, on and off, over the years. I also didn't know that he once did a split-comic for Last Gasp back in 1973. Or that his 1983 newave mini-comic White Boy Goes to Hell was reproduced in a book published by Fantagraphics. Or that he once did a strip called "Homeless in Hollywood" published in the LA Weekly. Hubbell has been a long-time Denver illustrator and print maker; in fact, I became reacquainted with him at an exhibit at the McNichol's Building organized by master printmaker Mark Lunning, whose collaboration with Harry Lyrico was one of the oldest pieces on display.

It's been a pleasure getting to know Hubbell/Lyrico better over the past few months, while having him produce my novel's cover illustration. And although I'm never quite sure whether to address him as "Harry" or "Larry" whenever I call him on the phone (often alternating), he doesn't seem to mind.



Author! Author! (#10)



From the novel A Western Capitol Hill:

Were dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark?” asks a young boy.

The rest of the kids laugh.

Now, now,” Huberman continues, “it may sound funny but, as a matter of fact, dinosaurs were on Noah’s Ark. Just like all the other pairs of animals.”


Dome-da-dome-dome! Dome-da-dome-dome-dome! (#66)



From the novel A Western Capitol Hill:

Don’t you have any techno?” he says, tapping his foot to his own beat and putting a slight sway into his hips. “Or, can’t you, at least, play 'We Are Family'?”

If Gayle’s smirk radiated condensation rather than condescension, the glass sliding doors to the balcony would be fogged. “Precious, you weren’t even born when that chestnut came out.”


The Texture Of Capitol Hill. (#43)



R.I.P. Smiley's



The "World's Largest Discount Laundromat" shutters its doors. Smiley's Laundromat on East Colfax in Denver is now an ex-clothes cleaning emporium. I don't know if it ever made the Guinness Book of World Records for its stated size. However, hoisting a Guinness in its wake seems appropriate.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Author! Author! (#9)


Gimme Gimme Green Chile! (#10)

Green chiles roasting.

The Texture of Capitol Hill. (#42)


Dome-da-dome-dome! Dome-da-dome-dome-dome! (#65)


From A Western Capitol Hill:

A mandala-like pattern spins. In his mind’s eye, Garrett finds himself back at the Capitol. He rises skywards towards the Capitol dome, up past the portraits of the Presidents of the United States on the third floor. Like saltwater taffy impersonating Chubby Checker, his brain twists, twists, and twists again. His mind whirls like a Dervish on a merry-go-round.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Season's Greetings From A Western Capitol Hill.

16th Street Mall Wreath.

Angels We Have Heard Mile High.

A Germanic tradition. Hanging out at the "Christ Child Market."

Capitol (under construction) reflected in the protective barrier of the City and County Building's Nativity Scene.

Christmas Lights! Cameras! Action!

Skating Away at Skyline Park.

Home for the Holidays?

Statue dreaming of an erect Xmas tree.

Cup Runneth Over -- With Snow.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Texture of Capitol Hill. (#41)


 From A Western Capitol Hill:

The #15 bus creeps west along East Colfax Avenue towards the Capitol. Loud enough for everyone else onboard to overhear, a voice announces, “You know Colfax is the longest street in the United States?”


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Día de los Muertos 2013.


Exhibition in Denver celebrating the works of José Guadalupe Posada, whose iconic imagery has become associated with Day of the Dead celebrations:


 
From my novel A Western Capitol Hill:

Garrett’s mind takes leave of his body, hovering over Cheesman Park. The park’s green, grassy plots crumble open, extruding the dead from underneath the ground. They begin to dance. Some skeletons hold picnics. Some sunbathe in the nude. Some ride in carriages being pulled by the skeletons of horses. Some shoot the skeletons of birds from the sky. Some tend dead roses. It looks like a collection of Día de los Muertos engravings by Posada come to life.

Hopefully, Posada would approve.


Day of the Dead-inspired cannabis skull in the window of a Capitol Hill greeting card and tchotchke shop:


Very Mile-High-Cityesque.