arts, music, seattle

Weekend of Readings

This weekend I saw not one, but two readings.

The first was actual music, dance, and poetry (in that order). I don’t know what the schedule is for the Apostrophe series, but I know it happens regularly at Gallery 1412 (1412 18th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122) in good ol’ Capital Hill. I like the idea of having three different disciplines coming together for a lot of reasons. For one it gets people who are focused in different arts in the same room (both audience and performers).

This weekend’s Apostrophe wasn’t as good as the last one I saw, but it was good still.  I wasn’t sure about the dance, though it should be said that what I know about dance could barely fill an index card.  The music was just boring to me. It was just a guy on a laptop playing boring loops. If I want see someone working on their computer I’ll put a mirror in front of my desk.  But that isn’t what made it boring, the loops were the culprit.  In amateur opinion I decided that the problem was that the sounds didn’t layer well. They were mostly background— missing some vital foreground to catch my attention. The background was great as a background, but it just couldn’t do all the work.  The only way I could start to get interested was by thinking of the intention (ie. what is the artist saying about background, making background a foreground, etc).  And even then I was only theoretically interested, the music still left me bored. The poetry was nic, nothing ear popping, but nice.

The second reading was at Open Books.  One of my friends read along with another woman who I am not friends with. Clearly I am not impartial, but I can say with honesty & conviction that Monica Fambrough is a great poet and was the better of the two.  Her reading was a high point for the weekend.  Everyone should get her new chapbook Black Beauty.  You can also here her digitalized-over-the-phone-voice at on weird deer (go to the very bottom of the page).

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arts, seattle

The PC is Funny

John Hodgman (I'm a PC)Tonight I saw John Hodgman read at the Elliot Bay Book Co. he wrote the book The Areas of My Expertise, which has an accompanying website. He is also famous for the Mac Vs. PC ads, in which he plays the PC.

The reading was part performance, which sounds like a dumb thing to say because what reading isn’t, but what I am saying is that his reading was much more a performance than most readings. More important was that it was more a performance than most readings without becoming annoying like performance/readings can sometimes be. His sidekick Jonathan Coulton had to skip out early for his own solo performance in town, but from what little I saw of him he was amazing. He’s got a website too, though I haven’t checked it out yet so I can’t say anything more. I can say that you should listen to his song “code monkey” which you can find right now at the bottom of this post… though I must say that it was better without the electric guitar & band, but what can you do? No, seriously, I’m asking.

The short of it is that I will definitely read Hodgman’s book, though I’m afraid it might not live up to the performance. I feel safe recommending that people look at the book and I definitely recommend going to see him if you get the chance. I’ve been told you can find out where he will be next from the Area of My Expertise website, so go there if you are at all interested. Be interested. He is smart, funny, and weird. That’s a pretty perfect combo in my opinion.

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