Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jazz Punk from Rome; Erotic Open Mic; Kevin Baker & Dreamland; Mike Edison & Banned Books; Horror Doc Cropsey

8 PM, Tues. Sept 7
NEO & TRIBRACO (w/special guests The Lady & the Furnace)
Live Music

Neo & Tribaco are two jazz punk bands from the Italian avant-garde scene based in Rome. Seriously. During their fifty day stateside tour, Tribraco will introduce their new album, and Neo will record their next one with renowned Pixies/Nirvana/PJ Harvey producer Steve Albini. And they'll play here. For FREE!

9 PM, Thurs. Sept 16
Erotic Open Mic

Poetry, prose, songs, comedy, etc. All work must emphasize fornication or heavy petting. Reply to this e-mail to reserve a 5 min. performance slot. Third Thurs of every month. The bluer the better. How blue are you? FREE!

8 PM, Thurs. Sept 23

A "Dickensian epic" (Entertainment Weekly), "a wild ride" (The New York Times), "a populist masterpiece" (Publisher's Weekly), a "virtuoso performance" (Esquire), this vast, sprawling carnival of a book, set in turn of the century Coney Island, features prostitutes, dogfights, Bowery bars, opium dens, and characters with names like Trick the Dwarf, Gyp the Blood and Kid Twist. Plus Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Topsy, the elephant electrocuted by Edison. Dreamland opens with an act of misplaced--and very stupid--compassion. Eastern European immigrant and expelled member of the Jewish mob Kid Twist intervenes when villainous gangster Gyp the Blood is on the verge of murdering a young newsboy for sport. But surprise: that's no street urchin--that's Trick the Dwarf, self-proclaimed Mayor of Little City and a Coney Island tout, who dresses up as a boy, he says, as "a way I had of leaving myself behind." Trick hides Twist in the hind parts of the Tin Elephant Hotel, a place literally shaped like the great gray beast, and what follows is a remarkable, extravagantly plotted patchwork of bizarre stories and superbly drawn characters. All of it elegantly written and compassionate to the core. FREE! Complimentary wine. Books on sale at event.

8 PM, Tues, Sept 28
Former HIGH TIMES editor/blues keyboardist MIKE EDISON
His Favorite BANNED Books
w/special help from BOSS HOG's Hollis Queens on drums

The American Library Association's Banned Book Week (BBW)is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. More than a thousand books have been challenged since 1982, with targets ranging from Harry Potter to Huckleberry Finn. Click here to see a map of book bans and challenges in the US from 2007 to 2009.

My first experience with a banned book was in tenth grade. I grew up on a horse ranch in Alabama and went to a private school forty minutes away called Macon Academy. My father, a writer who, divorced from my mother, lived in New Jersey, had sent me the Cabernet colored paperback of Catcher in The Ryefor Christmas (along with a Swatch that had a lime green band and a skeleton face of exposed gears). I was discovered reading it one day by my English Teacher, a bullied looking man named Mr. Edwards. He declared, with a sort of wooden vivacity, that if I persisted in doing a report on "the offensive book," I would get a an F. I consulted my Mom--a woman who, it should be noted, had recently backed my lobe with a wine cork and pierced my ear with a stove-flame sterilized sewing needle (to a rumpus of Academy demerits and suspension, natch). "Take the F," she said, "Once you read it, you'll understand." I did. And did.

Between 1985 and 1988, Mike Edison wrote 28 pornographic novels, reported on German whorehouses and Spanish coke dealers for Hustler, and published a series of erotic “confessions” for the legendary Penthouse Letters. In 1998 Edison became publisher/editor of marijuana counterculture magazine High Times. Following HT, he was named the editorial director for Jewish culture magazine HEEB, for whom he went undercover and exposed Jews for Jesus as a Baptist organization. He is the long-time drummer for New York cult-garage band the Raunch Hands and a frequent collaborator of infamous punk rocker GG Allin with whom he wrote a number of songs and recorded two albums. FREE! Refreshments served.