Thursday, January 24, 2008

FEBRUARY 2007: Daniel Pinchbeck; Evening with Eco; Get Lit Pub Crawl; Roadside Graves; The Proposition

8 PM, FRI. FEB 2
Daniel Pinchbeck

A daring, intriguing, and sometimes deeply disturbing book that puts an entirely new slant on the ancient Mayan prediction that 2012, the Mayan calendar's end date, would bring about the end of the world as we know it. From quantum physics to aliens, from shamanic hallucinogens to the Burning Man festival, from the Amazon jungle to Stonehenge, from fragments of jaundiced autobiography to the ancient prophesy of the Plumed Serpent featured in his subtitle, Pinchbeck takes us on a mind rattling, paradigm busting ride. 2012 has been called "dazzling" by Sting, "fascinating" by the Washington Post, and "memorable" by The Los Angeles Times. Pinchbeck has written for The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, and Harper's Bazaar. His first book, Breaking Open the Head, a drug riddled psychonautical expedition/investigation, was heralded as the most significant writing on psychedelic experimentation since the work of Terence McKenna. FREE!

8 PM, FRI. FEB 9

The Raconteur celebrates the career of Umberto Eco. Featuring a short talk by Eco scholar Professor Gary Radford, theatrical readings from Eco novels including The Island of the Day Before and The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, and a screening of The Name of The Rose, in which maverick monk William of Baskerville (Sean Connery) investigates a series of mysterious deaths in an isolated abbey. FREE!

Field Trip

Group meets at The Raconteur and proceeds en-masse to New York City (via NJ transit). Stops on tour include The Algonquin Hotel (home of the Algonquin Round Table, a group of NYC writers/wits that included Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley & Harpo Marx), McSorley's Old Ale House (the oldest Irish tavern in Manhattan and the focus of several now classic articles by New Yorker author Joseph Mitchell; Brendan Behan and ee cummings were known regulars), The KGB bar (named "best literary venue" in NYC by New York Magazine and The Village Voice), Chumley's (a celebrated former speakeasy, notable scribes who imbibed there include Anais Nin, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Norman Mailer, Eugene O'Neill, and J.D. Salinger), and The Whitehorse Tavern (where Dylan Thomas famously drank himself to death one night in November 1953). $35.00. Cost of tour includes literary history/bon mots, train fare and one round of drinks. 25% discount for all Raconteur Society Members*.

8 PM, SAT FEB 17
Live Music

We're called The Garden State because our soil is so rich that no matter how much we pave it or waste it, the land still calls to us. These are three of the most gifted and astute bands to get in tune with those echoes. From their doleful dirges to their sweet, romantic blues to their wild American poetry, these bands serve up torchers, scorchers and languid back porchers bursting with woodland wisdom and street corner philosophy. FREE!

8 PM, FRI. FEB 23
Written by Nick Cave & Directed by John Hillcoat
Film Screening

An Australian western set in the 19th century, The Proposition recalls the operatic grandeur of filmmaker Sam Peckinpah (The Wild Bunch) and the brutal poetry of author Cormac McCarthy (The Blood Meridian). Outlaws Charlie Burns (Guy Pearce) and baby brother Mickey (Richard Wilson) are captured by outback copper Captain Stanley (Ray Winstone). Both face hanging, but Stanley offers Charlie a deal: if he hunts down and kills his older brother Arthur (a psychopath who's managed to elude the frustrated authorities by hiding in the mountains), Charlie and Mickey will be free to go. But if he doesn't return by Christmas Day, Mickey (by far the most innocent of the Burns bunch) will hang. Haunting music and screenplay by rocker Nick Cave. FREE!