July 2007

from the Odyssey Youth Center newsletter Spring 2007:

Skillful listener makes a good facilitator

by Jill Wagner

Corinna Verdugo Corinna Verdugo is modest about her role as an Odyssey Youth Center facilitator. When asked about the volunteer work she does twice a month on Thursday evenings, she hesitates and suggests perhaps she is a bit too shy for the job compared to other facilitators.

At 27, a bisexual woman originally from Sacramento, Calif., with a degree in philosophy and Chinese language from Kalamazoo College, Verdugo is just the sort of mentor that teenagers can look up to and learn from. She has lived in Michigan and Pennslyvania, California and Washington, and studied for a year in Beijing. Currently an employee at the Department of Social and Health Services, Verdugo has also worked at Spokane Mental Health. She volunteers on Saturdays to answer phones at First Call for Help, a crisis hotline where she often takes calls from regulars who just need to talk, who just need someone to listen.

Supportive listening is one of the greatest gifts a place like Odyssey can offer to youths who may struggle to be heard at home or in school. Verdugo’s skills and desire to listen, no doubt, touch the kids more than she gives herself credit for. Life experiences also help Verdugo identify with Odyssey youth in ways that other volunteers may not be able to relate. Female youth will sometimes start dating a guy, Verdugo explained, and the backlash from other Odyssey kids can be tough to handle. As a bisexual woman, Verdugo understands what the girls may be feeling and can help them accept themselves without focusing on other people’s opinions.

She’s been a facilitator for a year, but was first introduced to Odyssey Youth Center about three years ago by her brother. Verdugo organized Odyssey’s 2006 Valentine’s Dance for LGBT youth and their friends. With her parents, brother and girlfriend in Spokane, Verdugo figures she is here to stay. What she likes about the city is an all new sense of security being here brings to her life. “When I was growing up I never really felt as safe as I do here,” she said.

Great news from K2 via Greasy Lake:

About as certain as we can get at this point: The new album has been recorded with members of the ESB already having contributed. Additional tracks are being recorded with and without the ESB. As can best be described at this point is the album is a cross between TOL and The Rising with some “rock” songs and a number of songs pared down. Having trouble describing the sound, but a lot of production is being used wth the versions already recorded. Different versions of each song are being recorded (with and without members of the ESB) and the final versions of about half the album have not been settled on. It was agreed to go ahead with announcing a new recording since it is fully anticipated the final recording phases will go very quickly. The good news is a flurry of recording will be ongoing over the next few weeks with August to be the month of final production, etc. Although a given, the album will have a least 10 songs with a goal of about 13 being projected.

What is interesting is the most definitive and positive news relates to the tour, which will be the last for the entire ESB. Rehearsals for the tour are once again scheduled for AP around Labor Day. Look for the tour to kick off on or about 10/02/2007 in New York with a quick swing around the country until the end of November. All of the major cities, to include LA, DC, Philly, Boston, Chicago, etc. will be covered. The month of December will include a quick tour of Europe, about 10 shows or so. January and part of February look to be time off with a full world tour to begin in full effect during the Spring of 2008 (Feb/March) with outdoor arena shows scheduled for the summer of 2008. The U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia, will all be on the schedule. Bottom line is that we are now entering the final stages in preparation for the final ESB world tour. Stay tuned.

New Album Out on New West Records, In Stores September 25th

New York, NY. After an extremely rare three year break from recording, Grammy® Award winner Steve Earle is back, with Washington Square Serenade, an album of new music out September 25th, his first for New West Records. The longtime Nashville (via Texas) resident, Earle has called New York City home for the past year and this will be his first release produced in the city. Recorded at New York’s legendary Electric Lady Studios, the introspective album, inspired by NYC, is Earle’s first produced by John King of The Dust Brothers (Beck, The Rolling Stones, Beastie Boys). A deluxe CD/DVD version will be available with bonus artwork, plus an exclusive documentary about the inspiration behind “Washington Square Serenade,” including a walking tour of Greenwich Village with Steve and noted journalist Mark Jacobson (New York Magazine). The album will also be available as a Limited Edition 180 gram vinyl record.