Saturday, July 3, 2010

JULY 2010: Roy Chambers; Green Drinks; Revolutionary Readings; Trains & Taxis/Jordan & Sphinx; Dictionary Toss; Sam St. Thom; Jennifer Egan

8 PM, Sat. July 3
Metalwork/Found Object Sculptor
Art Exhibition

Chambers effectively erased any memory of Allen Jones' fetishistic fiber-glass nudes with his milk bar cow skull in The Raconteur's production of A Clockwork Orange. He'll be exhibiting said skull along with forty other found object sculptures, including the horrifying orthodontic headgear for JAW, a five minute play by Alex Dawson, featuring Jeff Maschi as a retired-boxer-cum-side-show-freak who can remove the eponymous body part (think Rocky meets The Elephant Man), fully staged during the art show. FREE! Comp wine. Art on sale at event.

8 PM, Tues, July 6

It all started in 1989 at a pub called the Slug and Lettuce in Northern London, in which a handful of eco-conscious mates pulled some tables together and drank some beer. The concept evolved into GREEN DRINKS and now it's global. Each city has an organizer who arranges meetings in bars and restaurants (providing the greenest beer possible, and by green we mean enviro-minded, not colored; in our case, Climax, locally brewed in Roselle Park). The featured talk is by Joe Schaffer, engineer and co-founder of Green Environmental Associates. He'll give a brief (10 minute) technology review of gray water recycling, rainwater down-cycling, and composting toilets with a regulatory and practical overview of their use in New Jersey/New York. Green Drinks meets in fifty countries from Argentina to Zambia. And now, METUCHEN! Come have a beer and get green. FREE!

8 PM, Thurs. July 8

Revolutionary Readings is a project conceived, directed, and performed by an ensemble of young theatre artists. The event comprises readings from Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology, which collects poetry, essays, and theatrical sketches by LGBTQ high school students. Edited by Amy Sonnie, the book won the 2001 School Library Journal's Adult Books for High School Students award, but has just been banned in several New Jersey school districts having been deemed "pornographic" by a faction of Glenn Beck's 9-12 Project. RR's mission is to raise awareness of this book and to generate social and political pressure to combat its regressive banning.

7:30 PM, Fri. July 9
w/special guests JORDAN & THE SPHINX

One part pop, one part soul, one part jazz, LIKE TRAINS & TAXIS is one of the most appealing bands I've seen in a long time. As many of you know, I once tended bar and booked music at a sweaty little jughouse in NB. Every Weds through Sat. we slid over the slate pool table to make room for bands like 3 Piece & Biscuit, a lusty quartet that played some of the best original soul I'd ever heard. Until now. Upon the recommendation of Raconteur volunteer Mallory (you know her, she's the one with the Gilda Gray haircut and the tattoo owl that looks like a pineapple), I went to see LT&T play a gig at George Street Playhouse last year (Mal was playing accordion in a different band on the same bill). Backed by bassist Owen Susmen and drummer Mike Del Priore, Chris Harris (who styles himself as a modern-day urban love prophet in the tradition of Marvin Gaye) sat at his keys, porkpie askance, dancing in his seat like Little Stevie and crooning jazz pop grooves reminiscent of Maze's brightest days.

JORDAN and the SPHINX: this indie folk foursome from Arkansas almost called themselves Gary & Stupid, and occasionally play under the name Hairy Truman. They like glockenspiels and ukes, jaw harps, and shakes. They wear white framed sunglasses that they stole, along with a squeeze bottle of Coppertone, from a sorority emblazoned blanket in Fort Lauderdale. They have big, bushy beards that remind their fans of lion manes and Back in Black had the first licks they ever locked themselves in their room to learn. Their live performances include antics that stop just short of crotch-smashing eggs between Paco's scissoring legs. They will NEVER defecate on stage and set it ablaze. They describe their energetic sound as Southern opera freak out and cite a guy named Bob as their biggest influence. FREE!

8 PM, Sat. July 31
Reading/Live Music

Preacher-cum-blues singer Sam St. Thom reads from his memoir of Pentecostal Pennsy, Frying Spam, and growls out a handful of corresponding steel town songs. A child fascinated by speaking in tongues, the butchery of a Quaker goat, the exorcism of a gay demon, and the impending doom of the Rapture, Thomas fetches the fowl and explores a boyhood driven by a curiosity for all the things they said would land him in the lake of fire. FREE! Comp wine.