Tuesday, May 31, 2011

JUNE 2011: Teen Fest; Side Show/Roy Chambers/Roadside Graves; Something to Say; Treasure Hunt; Jailbox; Monster Doodle Book w/Lady and the Radiator

7:30 PM, Weds. June 1
Special guest Fantasy YA author SHERWOOD SMITH

Featuring ten minute readings by John Melendez (15), Kathryn Sweatman (16), Emma Jacques (12), Whitney Xu (13),and Kayla Bashe (16), who organized the event. PLUS: L.A.'s Sherwood Smith, the author of a number of science fiction and fantasy novels, including the "Wren "series for Young Adults, the Exordium novels, the recent "Atlantis Endgame," a novel of the Time Traders series, and the Solar Queen novels, reads excerpts of her writing and answer attendees’ questions via SKYPE. FREE!

6:30 - 10 PM, Fri. June 10
BUG OUT!! @ The Rac
Sideshow Performance/Sculpture Unveiling/Live Music
6:30 - 7:30 PM (outside, in front) Sideshow escapists Honor Amongst Thieves swallow mongol sabers, eat Edison light-bulbs, and spit fifteen foot flumes of flame into the blue black sky above Main Street, w/special guest Billy Bullwhip, a whip artist who, from ten feet away, can knock free a raisin from the ginger clench of his partner's teeth. 7:30 PM (outside, in front) Metal sculptor Roy Chambers unveils his 9' Don Quixote made from found objects and re-purposed metals (on permanent display in front of The Raconteur). Chambers effectively erased any memory of Allen Jones' fetishistic fiber-glass nudes with his steam-punk, milk bar cow-skull in The Raconteur's production of A Clockwork Orange (on display in the rear of the shop since the 2009 production). 8:00 - 9:00 PM (inside) Singer/songwriters Jeremy Benson & Ben Lukman. 8:30 - 10:00 PM (outdoor stage, in back) Rac house band The Roadside Graves (w/special guests) playing songs from their new S.E. Hinton inspired album "OUTSIDE" (stay gold, ponyboy!). All for FREE! Can u believe it? Note: Bug Out!! is our contribution to the town-wide, summer arts festival, Junebug, which occurs every Friday in June.

2 PM, Sun. June 12
Richard Klin/Lily Prince
Thoughts on Arts and Politics in America
Reading/Discussion/Slide Show
In Something to Say, Klin interviews artists and thinkers as disparate as Pete Seeger, Howard Zinn, punk rock activist Franklin Stein, and Palestinian American stand up comedian Maysoon Zayid. Each interview is accompanied by a striking B/W portrait from Klin's wife, photographer Lily Prince. The fusion of art and politics is axiomatic in much of the world. In America, their relationship is erratic. What is art in the service of social justice? Is an artist obligated to address the political? This book profiles, in words and photos, disparate creative forces who offer thoughts on their point of engagement with the political sphere. FREE! Books on sale at event.

9:30 AM, Sat. June 18
Ages 6 & up!

The Raconteur, in conjunction with the Metuchen Mt. Zion Masonic Lodge (and What's the Scoop), is again sponsoring a Metuchen based treasure hunt! In keeping with the rollicking spirit of The Man who Would be King, Freemason Rudyard Kipling's fantastic tale of two masonic scoundrels who set off from 19th century British India in search of gold and adventure and end up as kings of Kafiristan, and The National Treasure, in which hoard hunter Benjamin Gates follows a series of cryptic clues to find an ancient cache intertwined with the arcane history of Freemasonry, young adventurers (boys and girls 1st through 5th grade) work in teams, following clues and unraveling a variety of knotty riddles as they move from one mysterious location to another (various stores and outdoor landmarks) within the town limits of Metuchen proper. Each cracked conundrum will lead players ever closer to the final treasure! Expect anagrams, number puzzles, and a brass plated, cylindrical device known as a Cryptex. Raconteur gift certificates awarded to all participants. To sign up, click HERE. Space is limited. The hunt is completely FREE. Any questions, or if you would like to help, please click HERE.

8 PM, Tues. June 28
w/special guests
Live Music

Think Radiohead meets The Police. More soon. FREE!

8 PM, Weds. June 29

Half-finished doodles of monsters and other creatures, featuring misshapen bodies, oodles of appendages, and all kinds of gross crud. Finish the monster-shaped alphabet, create a flip-book, comic strip, and more. Drawings can be scary, disgusting, cute, or weird. It's up to you. Nichols is a writer, artist, cartoonist, and Texan living in Brooklyn, NY. His comics appeared in Nickelodeon Magazine and Herbivore Magazine. He is the author and illustrator of Punk Rock Etiquette, which was awarded a Blue Ribbon by the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and was nominated by YALSA as one of the 2009 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults. He's played in more than a dozen bands, and he loves meteorites and eating watermelon over the sink. FREE! Books on sale at event.

Monday, May 2, 2011

MAY 2011: Jazz Guitar; William Lustig; Don't Burn It; Mark Jacobson; Comedy Show; Sloane Crosley; Pitchapalooza

8 PM, Thurs. May 5
Jazz Guitar
Live Music
Harrity is the master guitar instructor at the Somerville School of Music. He has studied with Ronald Parker, Harry Leahy and Ted Dunbar for Jazz guitar, with Francis Perry, Thaddeus Robinson and Laura Oltman for classical guitar, and with Wanda Maximilien for classical piano. FREE!

8 PM, Fri. May 6
CD release Party
Live Music
More info soon...

6 – 7:30 PM, Sat. May 7

Pre-MANIAC Reception
Some serious New York grit is about to get all up in Metuchen when legendary cult director and Blue Underground head honcho, William Lustig invades the The Forum with a brand new 35 mm print of Maniac. In 1980, Lustig found himself at the center of a storm of controversy when he made the grim and gorey slasher sleaze landmark Maniac, which boasts plenty of hideously gruesome make-up effects by horror genre icon Tom Savini. As the head of Blue Underground, he has overseen the release of some eminent cult horror films including City of the Living Dead, The Crazies and Bird With the Crystal Plumage. Lustig has also worked as an actor in his own films as well as in films by Sam Raimi, most notably Army of Darkness and Darkman. Join the Raconteur for a Dixie cup of comp wine and some up-close conversation with horror legend Lustig, then trot on down to theater for the 8 PM screening and Q&A. But be warned, this is strictly for fans of the genre. $5 (reception), $15 (screening).

8 PM, Sat. May 14
Directed by Dang Nhat Minh
W/Special guest DON'T BURN IT actor and Vietnam veteran MICHAEL JARMUS
Film Screening
Having won many of the top awards in its home country and honors in Japan’s Fukuoka Film Festival, Don't Burn It was Vietnam’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film in the 2010 Academy Awards. The film is the first Vietnamese feature to shoot scenes in the United States. It tells of the intersection of the life of Viet Cong medic Dang Thuy Tram with that of US Army Sergeant Frederic Whitehurst (Michael Jarmus). The sergeant recovered Dr. Dang’s diaries shortly after her death in 1970, was greatly moved by them, and managed to return the writings to her family thirty-five years later. A sensation when published in Vietnam, the diaries inspired director Dang Nhat Minh to write the screenplay. The film’s title is taken from what Whitehurst’s Vietnamese translator said after reading part of the diary, as captured documents were being destroyed: “Don’t burn this one...It has fire in it already.” At this rare US screening, Jarmus will introduce the film and helm a discussion afterward. FREE!

8 PM, Weds. May 18
PLEASE NOTE: Sloane Crosely's visit is postponed until Thurs, May 26 to accommodate her second appearance on The Late, Late Show w/Craig Ferguson. Sorry!

8 PM, Sat May 21
“A disquieting yet utterly fascinating account, artfully told, studded with characters that would have been impossible to invent.” Jon Krakauer. Few growing up in the aftermath of World War II will ever forget the horrifying reports that Nazi concentration camp doctors had removed the skin of prisoners to make lampshades. In The Lampshade, bestselling journalist Mark Jacobson tells the story of how he came into possession of one of these awful objects, and of his search to establish the origin, and larger meaning, of what can only be described as an icon of terror. From Hurricane Katrina–ravaged New Orleans to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem to the Buchenwald concentration camp to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, almost everything Jacobson uncovers about the lampshade is contradictory, mysterious, shot through with legend and specious information. Through interviews with forensic experts, famous Holocaust scholars (and deniers), Buchenwald survivors and liberators, and New Orleans thieves and cops, Jacobson gradually comes to see the lampshade as a ghostly illuminator of his own existential status as a Jew, and to understand exactly what that means in the context of human responsibility. One question looms as his search progresses: what to do with the lampshade—this unsettling thing that used to be someone? Jacobson is a Contributing Editor at New York Magazine and in 2000 he published a profile of Frank Lucas, "once the city's biggest, baddest heroin kingpin"; this formed the basis for the Ridley Scott film, "American Gangster", starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. FREE! Books on sale at event.

8 PM, Tues. May 24
Featuring a range of NJ and NY comics.

8 PM, Thurs. May 26
David Sedaris calls her “relentlessly funny” Jonathan Ames calls her "Charming, elegant, wise, and outrageous, a 21st century Dorothy Parker,” and Jonthan Lethem calls her “another mordant and mercurial wit from the realm of Sedaris and Vowell.” She is also a weekly columnist for The Independent, a frequent contributor to NPR's "All Things Considered," and editor of The Best American Travel Writing 2011. Her essays, interviews, fiction and criticism have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Black Book Magazine, The New York Observer, The Village Voice, Vice Magazine, Elle , Glamour, Vogue, W, Salon.com, GQ, Spin, Esquire, Playboy Magazine, Self, Maxim Magazine, and Mirabella. FREE! Books on sale at event.


The Book Doctors, aka, Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry, authors of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published, want YOU to pitch your book at their acclaimed event, Pitchapalooza, which was recently featured in The New York Times, and in a mini-documentary for Newsday. Pitchapalooza is like American Idol for books--only without the Simon. Writers get one minute to pitch their book ideas to an all-star panel of publishing experts. The winner receives an introduction to an appropriate agent or publisher for his/her book. Plus, anyone who buys a book gets a free consultation worth $100.

Arielle Eckstut has been a literary agent for 18 years. She is also the author of seven books and the co-founder of the iconic brand, LittleMissMatched. David Henry Sterry is the best-selling author of 12 books, on a wide variety of subject including memoir, sports, YA fiction and reference. His last book appeared on the cover of the Sunday New York Times Book Review. Together, they’ve helped dozens and dozens of talented amateur writers become published authors. They’ve appeared everywhere from NPR’s Morning Edition to USA Today, and have taught publishing workshops everywhere from the Miami Book Fair to Stanford University.