“City Streets” from Ellyn Maybe’s Rodeo for the Sheepish
Video Randi Malkin
///This video was a contribution to Ellyn’s online zine www.rodeowrite.com …please visit and contribute your own work to the Rodeo!
Henry Rollins writes “Ellyn Maybe is an irresistible force. To read or listen to her poetry is to be gently and completely crushed while simultaneously inspired and charmed. The honesty with which she so exquisitely reveals her vulnerabilities, desires and pain is beautiful and rare.
Rodeo for the Sheepish has so many great moments. The first time I listened to it, I was reminded of when I first met her many years ago and how much I liked her and her poetry. One of the stand out tracks on the album, There Were Two Girls Who Looked A Lot The Same, is a perfect example of why one becomes a fan of Ellyns immediately. I cant understand how anyone could not find an aspect of themselves in that piece. This is what Ellyn does so well and so often in her work and on this album.
Reading Ellyns poems from the page is one thing but hearing her read them just the way she meant them to be heard is something else altogether. Ellyn has a great sense of humor and reads wonderfully. The musical accompaniment on the album is not mere background filler but a true collaborative effort between Ellyn and the musicians that really works.
Ellyn is a very gifted writer and a true gem.”
Song “There Were Two Girls Who Looked A Lot the Same” is from the CD “Rodeo For The Sheepish”.
Video by Veronika Bauer
Veronika was born in Krems, Austria and is a writer, actress, photographer, poet, and graphic designer. She came across Ellyn’s poetry on the internet, instantly loved it, and met Ellyn later in Los Angeles.
She has written and directed two short films, “The Window Across the Street”(2006) and “The Blue Door”(2008) and acts in short films and theater. She has also written two novels, several screenplays, several short stories and loves to take photos. Multi-talented and multi-lingual she literally lives Ellyn’s poem “Being An Artist.”
(Hen House Studios, 2009) Ellyn Maybe got her moniker because she was too shy to commit when she signed up for the open mic list—“Ellyn,” she’d write, “maybe.” She’s an LA phenomenon, published by Henry Rollins, the lovechild of Gertrude Stein and Allen Ginsberg, a lyrical poet in hippie couture, a one-of-a-kind. Now, with Rodeo for the Sheepish, she shows she’s ready for Las Vegas. Brilliant settings by producer Harlan Steinberger, superlative vocal backtracks by Tommy Jordan—all of a sudden, she’s gone Motown and you can hear the sheer force of Poetry vs. Pop music in an arena the size of Radio City Poetry Hall. Humor, poignancy, universality, individuality—like all great artists, how she does it is a mystery, but Ellyn Maybe is for real.
I had never heard of Ellyn Maybe before a chance meeting in Los Angeles. Shame on me, considering her poetry pedigree is practically second to none. With her latest project, a spoken word/music album, Rodeo for the Sheepish, it is easy to see why she was named one of ten poets to watch in the new millennium by Writer’s Digest.
What’s particularly delightful about this album is that in addition to hearing her perform her poems, the album is also full of the vocal stylings of Tommy C. Jordan, of whose band Geggy Tah David Byrne once said:
“Geggy Tah are so post modern that they’ve come out the other side.”
We had a chat with both Ellyn and Tommy about making the album, inspiring social change through words, plus got a little insight into what both artists are working on next.
PG: What gave you the idea to do an album of spoken word set to music?
Ellyn Maybe: Since I reference music so often in my work it seems natural to do a spoken word/music album. This amazing opportunity came about when I reconnected with my cousin Harlan Steinberger who is wonderfully talented and he suggested we go in the studio and record a few poems with a click track and the album evolved very quickly.
We recorded everything at that first recording and then I went back after the music was finished and rerecorded some poems once I knew what the musical accompaniment was as that affected the reading.
We’re working on turning Rodeo for the Sheepish into a movie musical and hopefully a live stage show too. If anyone wants to create images for a track or a vignette for in between the songs they should please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re open to live action, animation, photography, painting, sketching, dance…