Possibly of note: I’m reading later tonight at the Manhattan Inn, at 632 Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint. Also on the bill are Karolina Waclawiak (whose novel How To Get Into the Twin Palms is quite good) and James Yeh (who edits Gigantic and is a fine writer to boot). Doors, so to speak, are at 7. No word yet if the venue’s piano will be in use. Perhaps I will bring some sort of atonal improvisational playing to the work I’ll be reading. (I won’t.)
In the next month and change, I’ll be taking part in three readings.
On Tuesday, April 10th, I’ll be at Public Assembly as part of Vol.1′s Greatest 3-Minute Punk Stories event, talking about the time I went into the studio with my friend’s powerviolence band to record backing vocals for them. (Spoiler: hilarity, as well as an audio clip that’s become several friends’ ringtone, ensued.)
On Monday, April 30th, I’ll be reading at Housing Works to help celebrate Storychord’s fiftieth issue. It’s likely that I’ll be reading a short piece about cryptids. Fun fact: also on the bill that night will be Chad Matheny, who was in the studio the next time I contributed backing vocals to an album. (This was much more successful.)
And on Friday, May 18th, I’ll be at Book Thug Nation along with Michael T. Fournier (author of the novel Hidden Wheel and the 33 1/3 on Double Nickels on the Dime), Mike Faloon (editor of the terrific zine Go Metric and author 0f The Hanging Gardens of Split Rock), and Michael DeCapite. I will do my best to represent all writers whose names are not some variation on “Michael.”
The reading begins at 8 PM; it’ll be held at Matchless, 557 Manhattan Avenue, in scenic Brooklyn, NY. Reading will be:
Along with music from:
There’s also a Facebook page for the reading.
Last Wednesday’s Rick Moody reading at Greenpoint’s Word Books was a fine example of the literary/musical intersection I’m fond of discussing. When he’s at his best, Moody’s work pulls off things that I can’t dream of doing: “The Carnival Tradition” (from Demonology) remains one of my favorite pieces of short fiction, and his essays on The Lounge Lizards, The Feelies, and Danielson are among the most passionate arguments I’ve seen. I’d seen Moody read once before: a low-key affair at 192 Books held, unfortunately, during a remarkably humid day in the summer of 2007.
I had, however, seen him take part in a panel discussion for State By State the previous week at NYU. Some of the participants — Charles Bock and Myla Goldberg in particular — were more animated, while Moody’s demeanor was calmer, and occasionally self-deprecating. One of the highlights of the panel came towards the end, where Moody discussed the politics of the anthology’s contributors with editors Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey. (Essentially, Moody asked Weiland and Wilsey whether any politically conservative writers had been involved; they thought about it for a while and replied, with a shrug, “Vollmann?” “Vollmann’s not a conservative!” was the skeptical reply, and the discussion shortly moved elsewhere.)
At the Word reading, Moody read two selections from “The Albertine Notes”, the highlight (for me, anyway) of Moody’s recent collection Right Livelihoods. Battling a cold, Moody sounded at times as though he was channeling Steven Jesse Bernstein — which, given the ravaged urban setting for said novella, seemed entirely appropriate. After the reading section concluded, Moody picked up a guitar and was joined by a few guests, including his Wingdale Community Singers collaborator Hannah Marcus. The group then proceeded to make their way through about ten songs: some traditional, some Wingdale numbers, and at least one by Gene Clark. The playing was at times affecting, and at times very loose: the general feeling was of a group of friends gathering together to play music; the sort of thing you might see and hear on a late night in the living room of a house where instruments are numerous. And in the basement of a bookstore in north Brooklyn on a fall night, that feeling didn’t feel so out of place.