With music by Katie Knaub (expect more Harold Ray duets here) and Save The Clocktower, the latter a Chicago-based trio that merges electronics, live instrumentation, vocal harmonies, and catchy songwriting to create a pop/electronica blend. Check out their sophomore album Carousel or find them on Facebook.
For a pdf of the flyer, click the poster below. Spread the word.
This year’s Chicago snowmageddon, I’m happy to note, didn’t outrank my personal midwest winter initiation. After moving to the Chi in the fall of 1998 from the humid climes of Rock Hill, S.C., come the holidays I was back in S.C. but left early. A blizzard was predicted, see, and I was to start a new job Jan. 2 in Evanston, of all places. I motored back to Chicago in time for New Year’s Eve, as the snow began sometime early the next morning, not stopping for the next 24 hours. I was at that new job the following day, a near-four-hour public transit nightmare (never been so damn cold in my life, standing hopping foot to foot on the platform at Diversey, running in place, etc. etc.). That, friends, still sits in the history books as the No. 2 biggest Chicago snow, hell of an initiation rite for a Southerner. I have nerves of steel. Nah, but ’twas a great time to pretend.
Fortunately, in 1999 THE2NDHAND was just beginning to rise in my brain — we wouldn’t launch for another year — and there were no readings to cancel. Our Nerves of Steel event last Tuesday coincided directly with the worst of the recent white torment, and we unfortunately had to cancel as participants, well, faced travel nightmares to and from the Hungry Brain. We’ll be featuring all — Tomorrow Kings, Mairead Case, Marc Baez and more — in upcoming installments of the event, we hope, the next one to take place March 1.
Meantime, disheartened by the decidedly un-nervy cancellation, Chicago writer Mason Johnson reportedly had his own “Mason Johnson has Nerves of Steel” extravaganza at Moe’s on the northwest side (Central Park and Milwaukee). Check out the partial results.
ALL HANDS ON
The final day to preorder a copy of All Hands On: THE2NDHAND After 10 (our 10th-anniversary reader) via our Kickstarter campaign is Feb. 16. Reserve your copy. Sometime on the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 26, we hit the funding goal, so barring a disaster the project’s a go. Among features will be special-section author illustrations, some of which are leaked below, in process, by former THE2NDHAND design man Rob Funderburk — my favorite working painter, no doubt, and one of my favorite illustrators (he’s also a longtime and great friend, of course). Working from photos in many cases (most of the subjects he’s trying capture in portraits he’s never met), he’s been experimenting with all manner of techniques on these, as you can see. The technique behind the Michael Peck il Rob describes this way: “Laid paper over source photos on a lightbox, used flat side v. pointy corner of a graphite stick to render.” Makes it sounds simple, right?
Pretty stunning preliminary results, I’ll say. Find more from Rob’s illustration, painting and mural work, as well as framed watercolors and maquettes and a screen-printed study of the Chicago Rookery building, at robfunderburk.com. Or read his blog.
AND NASHVILLE, TAKE HEED
ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION THIS COMING WEEKEND.
THE2NDHAND anniversary celebration | 11 years to the day after our first-ever release party
Saturday, Feb. 12, 7 p.m.
@ Portland Brew, 1921 Eastland Ave., Nashville, Tenn.
THE2NDHAND AFTER 10: A NASHVILLE READING Four days before the end of ourKickstarter.com campaign to raise $2,000 to print our 10th-anniversary anthology, All Hands On, THE2NDHAND’s editors and contributors gather at this event to present new writing and work to be published in the book, with performances by:
*T2H shapeshifting collaborative writing crew of the Pitchfork Battalion
*T2H Louisville, Ky.-based coeditor C.T. Ballentine (whose “Friedrich Nietzsche Waits for a Date” novella is featured in its entirety in the All Hands On book)
*Birmingham-based Nadria Tucker, a frequent T2H contributor, with a special section in the book
*Nashville’s own Matt Cahan, whose “Coyote Business,” a short exploring the cultural connections between Mexico and the United States excerpted from his “Straight Commission” novel in progress, via the tale of a group of would-be Mexican migrants and a U.S. chemical salesman, is among new work featured in AHO
*Susannah Felts, Nashville-based author of the novel This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record
*Nashville-based Henry Ronan-Daniell
Nashville-based wood-block printmaker Martin Cadieux will be on-hand showcasing his print work for THE2NDHAND’s Kickstarter campaign, among other work.
Or, yes, tomorrow, as the case may be. Birmingham 2NDHANDers will remember Burian and Sneider from our November book fair at Greencup, or from their respective work in the mag, including Burian’s excellent “Zangara” story, featured in issue 19, about the 1930s assassin of former Chicago mayor Anton Cermak, and Sneider’s “Mole” story featured online. They’ll be appearing with punk poet Bucky Sinister; I read with him in San Francisco in 2006 on my book tour, and let’s just say the man delivers his work with a verve akin to the joy any young boy might feel running through a chandelier shop and breaking many things. Tortured, I know. Sorry.
Come out to Greencup (105 Richard Arrington South) tomorrow for the reading, which is followed by several quite excellent bands, including Japanther. Stay for them if at all possible. Please.
If you’re elsewhere, watch for the three coming up the east coast in the coming days. Al sent along this itinerary — check local listings for times:
**TUESDAY, March 24- Wayward Council, 807 W. University Ave, Gainesville, FL
**WEDNESDAY, March 25- Greencup Books, 105 Richard Arrington Jr Blvd, Birmingham, AL (with JAPANTHER)
**THURSDAY, March 26-Downtown Books & News, 67 N. Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC
**FRIDAY, March 27- The Milestone, 3400 Tuckaseegee Rd, Charlotte, NC
**SATURDAY, March 28- Internationalist Books, Chapel Hill, NC
**MONDAY, March 30- Remedy, 5121 Butler St, Pittsburgh (Lawrenceville) PA
**TUESDAY, March 31- Wooden Shoe Books, 505 S. 5th St, Philadelphia PA
**WEDNESDAY, April 1- Bluestockings Bookstore, 172 Allen St, New York, NY
**FRIDAY, April 3- Providence, RI
**SATURDAY, April 4- Book Revue, Huntington NY
It ended with long discussion of the reasons folks tend to depart the scene of a reading when there’s a band upcoming, in this case the wonderful Balthrop, Alabama, a Brooklyn band featuring 12 (or more) members whose freak-folk leanings had at least one of the readers (indeed the only one remaining) marveling at the unlikely beauty of the goings-on at the local bookshop, which is to say nothing of the reading, a large success as well, driven into the night by newish THE2NDHAND contributor Alec Niedenthal (pictured, above), who delivered three shorts that rivaled the best stuff we’ve heard lately from the experimentalist crowd. The pseudonymous Atlanta writer ‘Peepshow Girl’, having had a root canal, offered her “Diary of a Phone Sex Operator” story to the Left Hand’s Erin ‘Soapy’ Jones (pictured, below), whose delivery was spot-on and polished, and longtime THE2NDHAND broadsheet contributor Nadria Tucker read a brand-new Dos Passos(think Manhattan Transfer)-esque piece following several characters around South Side Birmingham, Ala. . . Susannah Felts and I read a collaborative “Facebook Fiction,” a romance of errors told between two mistaken lovers’ status updates and back-and-forth wall posts.
In the end (and keep in mind this comes from an ape with long experience in attempting to combine live lit and music, to some [however exceedingly little] success), we figured there were four reasons folks leave readings before the band starts, no matter quite how good they (the folks or the band) are.
But perhaps the host of the reading (ahem…) wasn’t up-front enough in his insistence that the band was coming up next, couldn’t you stick around a while, please. In fact, that was probably the single biggest factor virtually no one stuck around, after No. 3 above.
To Balthrop, Alabama: we are sorry even we had to leave in the middle of your first song, for reasons Nos. 1 & 2 above, mostly. Please forgive us. Until next time.