Monday, February 28, 2011

MARCH 2011: Coming Out, Coming Home; Melendez Jazz Duo; Edwin Frank & NYRB; Welsey Stace & Jonathan Coe; Schiff, Liss, Bondhus; Mike Bruno & Mattress

8 PM, Thurs. March 3

LaSala draws on years of working with families and their gay and lesbian children to write a warm and wonderfully compassionate book. With insight and wisdom, his study examines very real and honest stories of how gay and lesbian people cope with accepting their families and how parents and siblings work to love and protect their offspring. LaSala is the director of the MSW program and associate professor at the School of Social Work at Rutgers University. He recently completed a Fulbright Fellowship during which he taught family therapy courses at Tallinn University in Estonia and investigated the impacts of stigma on Estonian lesbians and gay men. LaSala has been a keynote speaker at national and international conferences in Sweden, Estonia, and Italy. FREE! Comp wine. Books on sale at event.

8 PM, Sat. March 5
Live Music

Fourteen year old jazz prodigy John Melendez is a ninth-grade student from Metuchen. He has been studying piano for six years and jazz for three at the Mason Gross Extension School at Rutgers and the Rutgers Summer Jazz Institute. Currently, John holds a Young Artists Program scholarship at Rutgers. He has studied with Oscar Macchioni, Andy Michalec and Brian Axford. John's influences include Stanley Cowell, Horace Silver, Thelonious Monk and Herbie Hancock. John will be accompanied by his father, Rob Pallitto, on trumpet. FREE! Comp wine.

8 PM, Thurs. March 10
Editorial Director of NYRB Classics

The NYRB Classics series is designedly and determinedly exploratory and eclectic, a mix of fiction and non-fiction from different eras and times and of various sorts (literature high, low, unsuspected, and unheard of). The series includes new translations of canonical figures such as Euripides, Dante, Balzac, and Chekhov; fiction by modern and contemporary masters such as Mavis Gallant, Daphne du Maurier, Stefan Zweig, and Upamanyu Chatterjee; tales of crime and punishment by George Simenon and Kenneth Fearing; masterpieces of narrative history and literary criticism, poetry, travel writing, biography, cookbooks; and unclassifiable classics on the order of J. R. Ackerley’s My Dog Tulip and Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy. Last fall they published their first graphic novel, Poem Strip by Dino Buzzati, translated into English for the first time. Two of their 2010 publishing highlights are William Lindsay Gresham’s noir masterpiece, Nightmare Alley; and The Road, the first English language translation of selected writings by Vasily Grossman. Taken as a whole, NYRB Classics is a series of books of unrivaled variety and quality for discerning and adventurous readers.

8 PM, Sat. March 12
Reading/Signing/Live Music

Rolling Stone Magazine hailed John Wesley Harding, the first opening act for Bruce Springsteen in 20 years, as "a literate and ironic neo-folkie with enough bile to win over a younger, hipper audience not attuned to folk music." CREEM said "His eloquence can be gut-wrenching," and The Los Angeles Times dubbed him "one of the great rock artists of the 90s." His best known work includes "I'm Wrong About Everything", which was featured on the High Fidelity soundtrack. Under his real name, Wesley Stace, he wrote the international best seller Misfortune and 2007's by George, a multigenerational story about a performing British family and their ventriloquist's dummy. His latest book is Charles Jessold, a twisty tale of music and murder unfolding with Nabokovian precision during Britain’s early twentieth-century folk revival. And, yes, Stace/Harding will have his guitar.

A humane satire and modern-day picaresque, The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim by fellow Brit Jonathan Coe is a gently comic novel about the paradoxical difficulties of making genuine attachments in a world of advanced communications technology and rampant social networking. A product of the social media boom, the eponymous Sim is, according to Coe, "the sort of person with hundreds of Facebook friends but no one to talk to when his marriage breaks up." Coe has written biographies of both Bogart and Jimmy Stewart and his novels include The Rotters' Club, Dwarves of Death and What a Carve Up! The Rotters' Club was adapted for television and broadcast on BBC Two; Dwarves of Death was filmed as Five Seconds to Spare. Jeremy Dyson, founder/creator of British cult comic quartet The League of Gentlemen, is adapting What a Carve Up! for Channel 4. FREE! Comp wine. Books on sale at event.

8 PM, Fri. March 25
Poetry Reading

A former McGill classmate of Leonard Cohen, Morty Schiff, now the director of creative arts at CUNY Staten Island, enjoys the illustrious distinction of having Cohen once say of his work, "If I could write a poem like that, I'd never need to write again." David Liss, the current vice president of the New York Presbyterian Hospital, (not to be confused with David Liss, the Black Panther comic book writer and the author of Whiskey Rebels), when studying in Ireland, was grandly introduced to Samuel Beckett by a friend in a pub as the "American poet, David Liss." Ryan Nowlin, who has an MA in creative writing and a new chapbook, Banquet Settings, and Charlie Bondhus, who has an MFA in creative writing and a PhD in literature and whose rumination on violence and complicity, Monsters and Victims, was shortlisted for the prestigious Bram Stoker Award, have not, to my knowledge, had any memorable interactions with famously reclusive Canadian folkies or post modern avant-garde dramatists, but they're reading, too. FREE. Comp wine.

8 PM, Thurs. March 31
w/Special Guest MATTRESS
Live Music

I might have met Mike Bruno in a dream. Maybe playing a waterphone atop a black cliff as a wine dark sea crashed white against the rocks and a light-blind moth thudded percussively in the narrowing shade of a left-on bedside lamp. Recently dubbed "opium den float rock," by the New York Post, Bruno's lo-fi late night tale-weaving is influenced by children's stories, weird spiders, glittering coyote eyes, and the krakken, and his rich, wistful croon, brother to a growl, cousin to a yowl, is backed by his Black Magic Family--April Heliotis, Paris Bierk, Sean Yenchick, Paul Christian, and Sally Burtnick (Glen "Styx" Burtnick's daughter), each contributing to a wonderfully strange symphony of sounds that include tin and wood flutes, wine glasses, Tibetan medicine bowls, and the mysterious vibrations of the theramin and, yes, waterphone. W/Special guests MATTRESS. FREE. Comp wine. CDs on sale at event. Not to be missed!