Friday, October 24, 2008

NOV 2008: Ian MacKaye; Kal Wagenheim & Bob Friedman; Pilar Timpane; Benjamin Parzybok; Mutts' Patrick McDonnell; Maltese Falcon Radio Play

6:30 PM, Sat. Nov 8
Autobiographical Storytelling/Q&A

A key figure in the development of hardcore punk and a staunch promoter of an independent-minded, do-it-yourself ethic, MacKaye is best known for being the frontman of the influential punk and alternative rock bands Minor Threat, Embrace, Fugazi, and The Evens. Along with his seminal band Minor Threat, he is credited with coining the term Straight Edge, though he did not intend it to become a movement. He is a founder and owner of Dischord Records, an independent record label based in Washington D.C. Venue: THE REFECTORY, 270 Woodbridge Ave (adjacent to the church boneyard), Metuchen, NJ. Doors open @ 6 PM. Admission: ONLY $5. Advance tickets now on sale at The Raconteur!

8 PM, Fri. Nov 14
Edited by Kal Wagenheim
by Robert Friedman

CUENTOS is a bilingual anthology of twelve short stories, many of which appeared in the 1960s in the English-language magazine The San Juan Review, co-founded by Kal Wagenheim and Augusto Font. Written by six of Puerto Rico’s leading writers, the themes vary in time from the 16th-century Spanish conquest to the migration of Puerto Ricans to the United States. Each story is published in both English and the original Spanish. Sometimes sad and sometimes hilariously comic, these stories represent in many respects an authentic voice of the Puerto Rican people. Editor Kal Wagenhiem was a former correspondent of the New York Times in Puerto Rico and is the author of several books and plays.

In SHADOW OF THE FATHERS, Friedman turns a disturbing event in Puerto Rican history into a captivating work of fiction. American doctor "Dusty" Rhoades cruelly confides in a secret letter to have killed several of his Puerto Rican patients. When exposed, he claims it was all a joke, and quietly leaves the island. Four decades later, Dusty's son Pablo, a highly regarded Puerto Rican artist, is still haunted by the past and vows to finally discover the truth about the father he never knew. A rich, suspenseful tale, the novel moves from the colorful life of San Juan to the snow-covered streets of New York, from the pastel heat of Miami to the fog-shrouded canals of Amsterdam. Books on sale at event. FREE! Comp wine.

8 PM, Thurs. Nov 20
VEO A VICENTE(I see Vicente)
Spanish with English Subtitles
Directed and photographed by Pilar Timpane

Film Screening

Veo a Vicente is a short documentary about Vicente, a Mexican man living in New Brunswick. The film documents his alcoholic abuse in Mexico, what happened as he crossed the border, and his recovery in the states. Pilar is a senior at Rutgers University. This is her first film. The screening is part of The Raconteur's newly minted Emerging Artist Series, which offers a venue and promotion to burgeoning artists with something to say. FREE! Comp wine.

8 PM, Fri. Nov 21

A lot of people are looking for magic in the world today, but only Benjamin Parzybok thought to check the sofa, which is, I think, the place it’s most likely to be found. Couch is a slacker epic: a gentle, funny book that ambles merrily from Coupland to Tolkien, and gives couch-surfing (among other things) a whole new meaning. An apartment flood destroys almost everything owned by roommates Thom, Tree and Erik, leaving only a colossal orange couch, which the landlord demands they remove. Broke, jobless, and now homeless, the roommates begin carrying their couch through the streets of Portland, and quickly discover two things: it might be magical, and Goodwill won't take it. They reluctantly embark on a hapless quest to take the couch exactly where it wants to go. Occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, Parzybok's quirky humor recalls early Douglas Adams and his high-minded themes recall Life of Pi. Parzybok is the creator of Gumball Poetry, a journal published through gumball machines, and the Black Magic Insurance Agency, a city-wide mystery/treasure hunt. He has worked as a congressional page, a ghostwriter for the governor of Washington, a Taiwanese factory technical writer, an asbestos removal janitor, and a potato sorter. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with the writer Laura Moulton and their son. Books on sale at event. FREE! Comp wine.

3 PM, Sat. Nov 22
Reading/Signing/Chalk Talk

In 1994, McDonnell created the award-winning comic strip Mutts, which now appears in more than 700 newspapers in 20 countries and has been anthologized in books all over the world. It was described by Peanuts creator Charles Schulz as "one of the best comic strips of all time." A coffee table book of his life and work, Mutts: The Comic Art of Patrick McDonnell, was published in 2003. In 2005, McDonnell wrote his first children's book, The Gift of Nothing, which was a New York Times best seller. The Best of Mutts, a ten year celebration of the strip introduced by acclaimed novelist Alice Sebold. In 2007. McDonnell again returned to the New York Times bestseller list with Hug Time, featuring a kitten named Jules who goes around the world hugging endangered species. His fifth children’s book, South, about the unlikely friendship between a cat and bird, was just released this fall. All of his books are printed on recycled paper. He is involved with many animal and environmental charities, and is a member of the Board of Directors for both The Humane Society of the United States and the Fund for Animals. Books on sale at the event. Books on sale at event. FREE!

8 PM, Sat. Nov. 29
A Staged Presentation of the Radio Play
Featuring Laurence Mintz, Jeff Maschi, Kristy Lauricella, and Lawrence Paone

Celebrate a decidedly different sort of bird two days after Thanksgiving. Spade and Archer is the name of a San Francisco detective agency. The two men are partners, but Spade doesn't like Archer much. Just one hour after a knockout named Miss Wanderly wanders into their office everything has changed. Archer is dead. And so is a man named Floyd Thursby. It seems Miss Wanderly is surrounded by dangerous men. There's Joel Cairo, who uses gardenia-scented calling cards. There's Kasper Gutman, with his enormous girth and feigned civility. Her only hope of protection comes from Spade, who is suspected by the police of murder. More murders are yet to come, and it will all be because of these dangerous men...and their lust for a bird statuette known as the Maltese Falcon. FREE! Comp wine.