me and d in Oakland

me and d in Oakland

I recently moved to the Lakeshore neighborhood of sunny Oakland, California.

I’m living in a place called Moishe House. Moishe House is an international non-profit that provides Jewish youth programing for not only the Bay Area, but communities around the world from Brazil to Beijing, by sponsoring houses that are made into Jewish community centers. Most of our events aren’t religious at all (were a very secular house) and you definitely don’t have to be one the chosen people to come to an event. For me this is a rare opportunity to bring the many thriving communities to which I belong together to my house to be merry and have a good time.

To Celebrate, my first event will be a House Concert-Shabbat. Poets, Comics, Beatboxers, Musicians performing in a intimate setting right in the living room. This is much different than the shows I’ve invited you to before because it’ll be a potluck (food we all bring and share), a performance space (open mic style) and a Friday Night Shabbat Service (a few short hebrew blessings over the candles, wine and bread.) All are welcome! You’re Welcome! Make sure to RSVP for food and performance needs. Thank You.

This will be a great place to eat, perform and watch the different bay area performance scenes collide in one living room. No tickets, its Free. However if you would like to contribute please bring a dish or a drink, and know I’ll be cooking as well for the legendary Pops chicken will make an appearance, with Pops himself there eating it!

This event will happen every Fourth Friday during the summer the first one celebrating my move is on:

May 22nd-House Concert Shabbat

at Moishe House East Bay,

636 Santa Ray, Oakland, CA.

Arrive around 6pm., Shabbat service, eating and performances will soon follow.




also, earlier in the week I’m doing a night of storytelling with a couple other performers in SF,

It’s a night of impromptu entertainment for dirt cheap.


THEME: I Never Saw It Coming
DATE: Tuesday, May 19
TIME: Doors at 7:30 p.m., Show at 8 p.m.
PLACE: Climate Theater, 285 9th Street, near Folsom Street (see map below).
ADMISSION: $3-5 sliding scale (to cover venue costs)

PS. If you know of someone who wants to live in the east bay and do Jewish programing with me to subsidize part of their rent have them contact me. We’ll have vacancies at Moishe House this month and next.

up up and away,



Joshua Walters here wishing you a good spring season.
Here’s the performance calendar for my Bay Area events for the month of April.
This is an awesome line up and you’ll be sure to find something you enjoy.
If your a performer or want to be, most of these shows are an opportunity to get on the mic.
If you have questions or just want to say hello your reply is always welcome.


1. 4/1-The Legendary BAD Poetry Slam—Berkeley
2. 4/2-Tourettes without Regrets—Oakland
3. 4/4-The Vowel Movement—Berkeley
4. 4/9-Poetry Mission—San Francisco (free)
5. 4/10-Caffe Triste Music Show w/John Staedler—San Francisco (free)
6. 4/23-Speak the Music—Berkeley
7. 4/29-Mouth Off Wednesdays—-Oakland

—April 1 (April Fool’s Day): THE LEGENDARY BAD POETRY SLAM!!!,
Winner gets a 20 POUND block of CHEESE! (plus 150$ in cash prizes) Bring your worst High School love poem, your most terrible drunken rant, whatever! Low score wins, time penalties work in reverse! This Slam is for those who love poetry slam and especially for those who hate poetry slam. It’s sure to be a night of hilarious satire. Last time we had such an event in Berkeley was 2005. This event is not to be missed.
Featuring two poets who do NOT suck: Boston’s Iyeoka, and Santa Cruz’s Kevin Holms.

Hosted by Joshua Walters

The Starry Plough 3101 Shattuck, Berkeley,
Sign up 7:30 sharp, Show 8:30
cover: 7$

—April 2nd, Tourettes Without Regrets
My favorite demolition derby of underground art returns with a fistful of swearing contests, high vaulting slam poetry, twisted comedy and insane contests!

8 SLAM POET COMPETITION Judged by the Audience

This month I’ll be in the Dirty Haiku Battle right at the beginning of the show.

630 3rd St. @ Jefferson * Jack London Square
ALL AGES * Full Bar * $10
Sign Ups 8pm * Show 8:30pm

—April 4th, Vowel Movement Beatboxers at Ashkenaz

“… witness some of the dopest organic teamwork since
Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh. ” — SF Bay Guardian

Everyday Theatre (EDT) presents

Vowel Movement Beatboxers
-Mixtape Volume 4-
Saturday, April 4th (4/4)
at Ashkenaz
1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley
$10/all ages

Constant Change
Tim Barsky
hosted by Joshua Walters

with special guests:
from Los Angeles, Jase of Verbal Beats Crew
The SF Urban Circus Syndicate
feat. Kevin Carnes & Brandi Brandes
James Whiton aka Bassman
& DJ Aspect

—April 9th, Poetry Mission, San Francisco. FREE
Poetry Mission is an open mic Every 2nd & 4th Thursday in the heart of San Francisco at 16th and Mission. I’ll be doing a featured set 20 minutes of new material, poems, jokes and stories. This venue is extremly intimate which is my favorite way to perform. I was able to perform there last year with great success. Read something of your own if you are so moved.

3121 16th St. (near Valencia)
7PM – 9PM

—April 10th, Music Show with John Staedler, San Francisco. FREE
Spoken Word/Musican John Staedler and I have joined forces to create a Musical, Comedy, Poetry Act that includes beatbox, saxaphone, guitar and maybe even a kazoo. We have a natural chemestry that is both rare and powerful. Come and see us do our Duo together for the first time. We’ll be doing about 45 minutes together and we would love to know what you think.

4/10/2009 7:30 PM at Caffe Triste w/ a study in Emerald
1667 Market Street, San Francisco, California 94103
Cost: Free!

—April 23rd, Speak the Music, Berkeley
This bi-monthly Berkeley Beatbox Bonanza is kicking off the spring season by turning the April 23rd show into a Beatbox Battle!
Beatboxers will devour mics and thrash ego in a head to head competition ending in a 2 on 2 team competition. The winner will get cash prizes and be crowned Speak the Music 2009 Beatbox Champion.

Featuring showcases by:
Bronkar (circus performer/beatbox juggler extraordinaire),
the Genie (Scratch guitarist and beatbox looper),
Bay Area Break Dancers. Plus others to be announced…

Hosted by Joshua Walters

If you want to be apart of the beatbox battle contact ASAP

Speak the Music—April 23rd,
@ La Pena 3105 Shattuck
(1 block east of Ashby Bart)
Door opens-8pm show:8:30 pm
cover 8$

—April 29th, Mouth Off Wednesday.
Mouth Off Wednesday happens every week at Air Lounge in Downtown Oakland and is one of finest open mics in Bay Area showcasing Spoken Word, Comedy and Hip Hop Talent from all around the Bay. I’ll be doing a 20 minute featured set. Feel free to rock the mic if so inclined. Dressed code is strictly inforced, no sportswear or tennis shoes. Folks usually get dressed up and then at 10pm it turns into a dance party!

4/29/2009 8:00 PM at Mouth Off Open Mike @ The Air Lounge Open Mic
492 9th Street, Oakland, California 94607
Cost: $5

See you at the shows.

Listen Here to International Spoken Word/Comic Mike McGee interview JW in San Jose

It sold out in Berkeley and San Francisco, now it’s making it South Bay Debut at the end of the month.

spoken_word_spring_09_back-edited @ MACLA. 510 South 1st Street San Jose
door 7:30, show 8pm, 7-10$ (sliding scale no one turned away for lack of funds)
for full description, quotes and show clip go to:

carrotMy trip was a success and to celebrate I am holding a album release party on the Eve of New Years Eve (Tues, Dec. 30th). All new music tracks plus brand new stories from abroad. The night will include live funk, soul and jazz from two of my local favorites. If your home for the holidays you probably have the day off. It’s FREE.

Dec. 30th-Album Release of “Grow the Good” by Joshua Walters
music, comedy, and spoken word from the last three years.
A night of Tales from the Wild Road, stories of Israel, Turkey and Germany.
Featuring the interplatary funksmanship of A. Coopersmith & Nick B. (featured on the album).
Plus special guests in for the holidays.
@ The Climate Theater 285 9th St. San Francisco.
Doors at 7:30 Show at 8:00pm
Cost: Free.
Purchase of CD at door greatly appreciated.
(15$ for 1, 20$ for 2.)


  1. Even if you can’t understand German, its safe to assume the poems are about sex; these people are pretty much American, they just have better cheese.
  2. German keyboards switch up the y and z and make the @ hard to find, this may take some getting use to…
  3. Make sure to turn your star of david shirt you got in Israel inside out, not to avoid danger, just to avoid questions.
  4. The word “schnitzel” is hilarious, every time…without fail.
  5. Germans aren’t impressed if you tell them your half German, they want you to be from somewhere else.
  6. Pork is the food of choice, just try to eat something lighter before beatboxing.
  7. Some German women don’t like American men, it doesn’t matter how curly your hair is.
  8. Germans treat performers with respect, you’ll get green room privileges and free drinks even at the open mics.
  9. People in small towns are grateful you came/People in big cities have seen your type before.
  10. It’s ok to make fun of the Nazis just as long as their Austrian.


Here’s some footage from the Frankfurt Poetry Slam (10.17.08), enjoz.


It was a sad day leaving Istanbul, but it had to be done. The next objective was to make my way by train to Germany in about two weeks stopping off for an occasional visit in places where it felt right and tight.


I met a traveling French ladies man named Igor on the way to Sophia and when we got to the capital city of Bulgaria we tooled around looking for adventure. We met a woman who showed us around town, a friendly introduction to an otherwise unfriendly city. Per the woman´s request we bused it to a mountain to get view of the country, but being on the last bus we only got 15 minutes of view before it was time to go. We both agreed that Bulgarian women were not our thing. Kinda of like pho-Russians without the brand name recognition. It seemed liked the more north I traveled the whiter people got. “Don´t they get it Igor. I likes ’em brown.” Maybe I had chosen the wrong continent.


…that being said the women in Bucharest were gorgeous. Unlike the Bulgarians, Romanians had a whole mighty mouse Italian thing going. I stopped off at Sighisoara for a small town feel after a month of big cities had become to hectic. This was the town were Dracula lived, and it smelled like the good earth. During the day I taught 12-year-old Romanian boys how to beatbox and fall down laughing at my silly voices. Its all about the kids.


In Budapest I was never alone. After linking up with some Americans who studied in Prague, I had a ball: sight seeing buses, labyrinths, mineral baths. They offered me a place in Prague, and hopefully I will get to go. Next I met an Italian guy who cooked me carbinara pasta at our hostel. He introduced me to this Hungarian woman who get this…does´t eat at all. No food…just liquid. She tried to explain that it was a spiritual thing, but try telling an Italian and let alone me that food is unnecessary. It was still interesting talking to her and that´s coming from a guy who pretty much travels to eat. Eat those sweet beats.


When I hit Vienna, I was no longer floating on a good exchange rate. The Euro kept me limited, where as before I felt like a mob boss, throwing down 10-20,000 Hungarian florins just for some groceries. With a Canadian I met I skipped through Vienna rather quickly. Moving on to Salzburg, the home of Mozart and the sound of Music. With rolling green hills I could just imagine Julia Andrews singing “the hills are alive…” In Insbruke, a Austrian took me to a bar and we ended up toasting to the recently deceased Austrian political figure Hider. Hey, wasn´t he that guy who was a neo-Nazi. Ah well, I was in Austria after all.

…Right now I am in Germany. I just spent a couple days in the Bavarian country side with family connection Hart. He showed me castles and mountains and the good life like pasta with pork in a cream sauce. This definitely wasn´t kosher Israel. Next…the German Spoken Word Tour.

A toothless Turkish fısherman looked at me.

“You American?”




                      He gave me a hıgh fıve.

          Istanbul has treated me well. The Bıggest cıty ın Europe sportıng a sıze about double New York, ıts a mecca for so much ın the way of food and culture. Apparently I am stayıng at the hostel for travelıng street musıcans (on the cheapıes). I meet a guy who could have passed for a brazıllıan Jesus. Bıg beard and dreads, clothes he made hımself, on the road for the past 10 years. So many people I have met. Somethıng lıke 3-4 new connectıonsa day. I could just strıke up a conversatıon wıth a fellow traveler on the street or a natıve turkısh and spend the afternoon wıth them, its that frıendly. The dance club down the block from where I stay plays everythıng from Manu Choa to Lıttle Rıchard. Its quıte exotıc here. Food ıs another world of goodıes. Kapabs to seafood to thıngs I have never tasted. Frıend Erıca was ın town and showed me the real Turkey (she speaks the language and knows the deal, plus gets the natıve turkısh prıce ınstead of the tourist one). We tasted thıngs lıke lungs and ıntestınes and the wildness of stuffeffed potatoes-I was down like a clown.

         A funny thıng happend wıth one of those frıendly turks. A guy who I met on the street took me out to hıs favorıte kapab joınts, payıng and everythıng, not uncommon ın my experıence. Next we went to a club full of buısness men and tall women. Thıs was not the lıke the dance club by my hostel. Wıthın 5 mınutes two women were at our table ordıng the most expensıve drınks. After 4-5 rounds the bıll came and ıt became paınfully obvıous that I been taken for a rıde. It wasn’t untıll I remembered a story that my bırthrıght buddy Noah told me that ıt all made sense. The club owner had hıred the gırls and the guy on the street to get at my bılls. It was basıcally a sophıstıcated way of robbıng someone and apprently ıt even happens to Turkısh guys. After preasured debates I got out wıth only payıng 80 bucks, a fractıon of what I had on me. Kında of a small prıce to pay for valuable travelıng experıence. When I told the guy who runs the hostel hıs response was, “let me guess, russıan gırls?” It was pretty common experıence. My guıld book even told of exactly how ıt would go down. Ah well. Lıve and learn. Next the balkıns…

“We have clean sheets but there a little bit wrinkled” she said.

“You have SHEETS? Real sheets, like on a real bed?” this was luxurious.

It’s funny the accommodations you take for granted when you at home. For the last week I’ve in different spots throughout Jerusalem in my explorations of the holy city. Some included parents with talents for omelets, others included cockroaches that just liked omelets. My days would start going to the local market, or “Suk”, and picking of the freshest of breads, hummus and whatever else looked good. I would survive off that until the evening when I became ravenous and splurged on a lamb burger or a huge shwarma (middle eastern burrito.) See how I start with the food, it’s always on the mind, I’m still learning to eat better while on the road. In my day trips I saw the western wall, the dome of the rock and just happened to stumble upon where they berried some important dude named Jesus. We asked were we were and the priest looked at us liked we didn’t recognize the moon. The dome of the rock was a chill spot, Muslim women sat barefoot under the dome of the chain next to the rat the western wallock reading prayer books. The gardens were so peaceful it made me want to nap. “The time is over!” a man yelled, tourists aren’t allowed after 11am, it’s Ramadan. My last night in Jerusalem I got to commune with some hassids that were having an all night teach in. Kinda like a philosophy class with more beards. I stuck out my hands as was suggested by one of the Jews and got a bunch of peanuts with a colorful soda to wash it down. These people get it. If your going to take a class that goes past 3am, the teacher needs to bring snacks. Alas back to the food. Right now I just spent Shabbat up north with Serena, the Rabbi who Bar-Mitzva’d me and her fam. I saw real food and had a day of it. Tomorrow I’m off to Istanbul, more updates from there. -J

at the western wall

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