FOUND in Tucson

October 7, 2012 |

photo: Dan Busta

Every night begins with a stack of fragments: Davy Rothbart steps up to the mic with a fistful of paper scraps – found notes collected from cities all over the world – and Davy reads them, one at a time. There are passionate pleas from lovers, furious demands from neighbors, curious grocery lists. “I try to read them with the energy and emotion they were written with,” says Davy. “They’re hilarious, and heartbreaking, and I try to convey that.”

This is FOUND, a ten year collection of strangers’ discarded secret notes and photographs that have been printed as annual magazines and anthology books. FOUND’s 10th Anniversary tour will have two stops in Tucson this October. Davy is also debuting My Heart is an Idiot, his book of essays about love and relationships from childhood and every corner of the road. “They’re personal, raw stories. The people who come to the shows know me a lot better by the time I leave,” Davy jokes. “It’s been fun to share them, and people come up to me afterwards and share their own stories.” And for Rothbart everything – the essays, the found notes – is about making those real connections with other peoples’ lives. “It’s been really exciting to see that other people share the same fascination for these little scraps of paper. People are curious about who we share the world with.”

Sharing the stage is Peter Rothbart, an acoustic folk singer-songwriter with his own new album, You Are What You Dream. His inspiration is found, too: many of his songs are created from notes in his brother’s collection, and like the notes they run the gamut. The beautiful and haunting song “A Child to Call Our Own” came from a note found in a burnt out car in Hawaii, written by a woman who had just had a second miscarriage; another song came from the plainly labeled “Booty Tape” found on a street in Michigan, where Peter heard someone rapping “The Booty Don’t Stop” and decided to cover it on acoustic guitar.

The night ends, Davy says, with him pulling a stranger up on stage and asking them spontaneous questions about their life, “because so much about FOUND is about getting to know the strangers we share the world with.” In the end every FOUND edition is an art installation, “a community art project that requires the participation of so many people across the globe.” So come join in.
FOUND Magazine’s 10th Anniversary Tour with readings from My Heart is an Idiot by Davy Rothbart and musical performances by Peter Rothbart

October 20th, 7:30pm, Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St., 622-8848. $6 in advance, $8 at the door. October 21st, 2:00pm, Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave., 791-4010. Free. More info at

Category: Arts