Thursday, July 9, 2009

JULY 2009: Summer Party; Andalusians/Risk Relay; The Seems

8 PM, Fri. July 10

Bring one friend who's never been to the coolest bookstore in the country. Internationally acclaimed scribble scratcher DJ Disko Troop (Neil Mohammed)spins everything from Soixante Neuf to Little Red Corvette. Free food. Free drink. Ice cold AC. Plus pig-faced bascinets, werewolf masks, pith helmets, and moose horns.

8 PM, Fri. July 17
Live Music

The vehicle for songwriter Basla Andolsun (Beauty Pill, Del Cielo, and, currently, Edie Sedgwick), The Andalusians' debut, a 7 inch called "Do the Work," is out this month on Ian MacKaye's Dischord Records. With influences as far ranging as Fela Kuti and Black Flag, the band is more akin to the Pixies, Throwing Muses, and the freewheeling alternative rock of late night MTV circa 1989 than any of their harder Dischord peers. The Andalusians wield a sense of chemistry that's casual, and vocalist/guitarist Andolsun, supported by an all star cast of DC luminaries from bands like Hoover and Faraquet, pushes the art of pop song writing to a place that is distinctively her own.

Though guilty of the occasional atonal freak out, Risk Relay care as much about the quasi-symphonic art-guitar music of composers like Rhys Chatham as they do about the punk pop form. Their songs hover gorgeously for extended lengths, letting guitarists Ed and Mark intertwine spindly tonalities as carefully as it's possible to do at wall-shaking volume, while Ed's untutored voice seditiously intones words that flirt with pop stupidity, high-art eloquence, and urban cool. When they bear down and rock, they do it with a blurry intensity that finds gorgeousness at the heart of discord. Tonight is a must-go for any post punk Garden Stater with a "Washing Machine" T-shirt, who considers themselves the least bit cool. FREE! CDs on sale at the event.

8 PM, Thurs. July 23
Rene & Raul Villereal
Reading/Signing/Slide Show

Celebrate Hemingway's 110th b-day w/his Cuban son!
Together with his own son Raul, Rene Villereal tells the account of how he came to be Ernest Hemingway's majordomo, confidant, and friend - his Cuban son. Hemingway, called El Americano by the Cubans, moved into the Finca Vigia, an estate outside of Havana, in 1939. He allowed the village children to play on his property, and they soon became fixtures, caring for his pets, performing odd jobs, and running errands. Hemingway recognized Rene as especially responsible and attentive and made him household manager, or majordomo, in 1946 when Rene was only seventeen. For the next fifteen years, Rene ran the Finca, tending to Hemingway and his wife, Mary, and their visiting family and distinguished guests. Villarreal's clear recollections offer up humorous stories of escapades and adventures with Hemingway as well as insightful comments on the writer's work habits, moods, passions, and friendships. He also writes of Cuba before and after the revolution, beautifully capturing place and time. Plus a slide show of candid, largely unseen photos of Hemingway in Cuba! FREE! Complimentary wine and rum. Books on sale at the event.

7 PM, Fri. July 24
THE SEEMS (Ages 9 & up)
Michael Wexler & John Hulme

Written by childhood friends, John Hulme and Michael Wexler (from Highland Park, NJ, The Seems is the Matrix by way of Willy Wonka for middle school boys and girls. The World that you live in is not, in fact, the world that you think it is. Weather, Time, Sleep, and even the Color of autumn leaves are controlled by those in the Know, who regulate The World from The Seems. The sunset is painted daily, rain is regulated by a water tank, and a Good Night's Sleep is packaged, processed, and distributed nightly, with a special dream, included like a Crackerjack prize, just for you.It is into this new place, The Seems, that Becker Drane, a seventh grader from HIGHLAND PARK, NJ, arrives after applying for The Best Job in the World and becoming the youngest Fixer ever. Fixers are, just that, Fixers. They step in and take on the dangerous task of Fixing things when they go wrong and Becker's first job is to Fix a Glitch in Sleep. Putatively a sci-fi series for kids, The Seems also speaks to greater philosophical issues: concrete existence, angst, freedom, facticity, existence preceding essence, the other, the look, and the absurd. A film version of The Seems, directed by Night at the Museum's Shawn Levy is due out sometime next year. FREE! Book 1 & 2 on sale at event.

Barry Monush (Everybody's Talkin') Sat. Aug 1; Sung Woo (Everything Asian) Fri. Aug. 7; Like Trains & Taxis Fri. Aug 15; Exit 10 Sat. Aug. 16; Sheila Kohler (Cracks; Bluebird of Happiness)Thurs Aug 27; Night of the Cryptids: Faces in the Rocks doc & The Beast of Bourbon Flip Fri. Aug 28; Michael Agovino (The Bookmaker)Sat. Sept 12; Padma Viswanathan (The Toss of a Lemon) Sat. Sept 26; A Clockwork Orange: A Staged Adaptation, Oct. TBA