Odd Words July 28, 2011Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
In lieu of anything clever to say, how about a few things on the Internet you really should be reading if you’re reading this column? Let’s start with the series THE LONELY VOICE by Peter Orner on TheRumpus.net. A series of essays on the author’s chosen and favorite form the short story, start with his latest and I fancy you might find yourself clicking the More By This Author link. When he collects these I’ll want a copy.
This one’s for a burgeoning screen writer I know, from the empyrean Maud Newton (sigh), a write up of Raymond Chandler’s 1945 screed WRITERS IN HOLLYWOOD which she finds “as relevant as ever.” Or try HTMLGiant’s roundup of On Writing posts with “craft insights” from Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, Ted Bundy, Bill Evans, Iggy Pop,Gustav Mahler, Klaus Kinski Mike Tyson and Captain Beefheart. From Captain Beefheart: “For instance, the English language is the only language that has an *i* before *e* except after *c*. What’s before an *i*? Before my eyes is a sea. But the *c* I see is a sea. I’m not that word-oriented. I’m trying to use words like music so that they don’t take your mind anywhere that I want them to.” Any connection between HTMLGiant and the discovery of a new moon of Pluto is entirely the universe trying to tell you something.
When you get back from Pluto, don’t forget to check the listings. There are only a couple but they are stellar. Or Plutonian. Or empyeral. Or ______________ (fill in your own description here later).
%I’ve heard poet Asia Rainey a few times and she is an amazing voice. I caught her at a reading organized at the Alvar Library and again at the spoken word event at last year’s Fringe Fest. Friday at Red Star Galerie, 2513 Bayou Road, she offers a by-admission reading that includes a copy of her book SOUL CHANT and admission for two for $15. I’m wondering if I can convince my 16-year old son to check this out. Its the summer doldrums for readings and author visits Friday July 29, 7 p.m. at Red Star Galerie
& Times-Picayune music writer Keith Spera will launch his new book GROOVE INTERRUPTED: Loss, Renewal and the Music of New Orleans at Octavia Books on Tuesday (and host another reading at Garden District Friday, Aug. 5 if you miss this one). The danger of the loss and ultimate recovery of New Orleans core music tradition and culture from the Federal Flood 0f 2005 is one of the greatest stories of travail and triumph since the Isrealites lit out for the Promised Land. As the TP’s music guy Spera was perfectly positioned as a witness to this, and his book “captures both the elation and the heartbreak of post-Katrina New Orleans through the stories of some of the city’s best musicians” per the blurb. I’ve only read two Katrina books in the past year, Dave Eggars ZETOUIN and Dan Baum’s NINE LIVES and each so knocked me on my ass I couldn’t read another for a while. Or so I thought, because I know I won’t be waiting for the paperback on this one. Tuesday, Aug. 2, 6 p.m. at Octavia Books and again Friday, Aug. 5 at Garden District Books.
& Pamela Ewen’s DANCING ON GLASS sounds like the sort of chick-lit I would normally pass over: successful lawyer meets magical Mr. Right who turns out very, very wrong but this Successful Woman happens to come to New Orleans and meets and marries an artist with dark secrets who takes her life down (literally) an unexpected road. This sounds like a perfect fairy tale of the dark side of New Orleans fey charms. Bonus points for Ms. Ewen of her character Amalise Catoir if she’s a Nice Girl from Jersey who graduated Tulane Law and decided to stay. Thursday, Aug. 4 at 5:30 p.m. at Garden District Books.
& Mark your calendars for Saturday, Aug. 6 when Ricky Riccardi will give a presentation and sign his new book on Louis Armstrong’s later career WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD: The Magic of Louis Armstrong’s Later Years. While many of the new school jazz musicians of the post-WWII era dismissed Pops late career as the work of a buffoonish minstrel, trading his seminal early work for Hello, Dolly and Mack the Knife, he was the true rock star of his era who collaborated with Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, and Dave Brubeck, and who toured the world as the ambassador of American’s unique music. Saturday, Aug. 6 at 7 p.m. at Octavia Books.
Poet Thaddeus Conti hosts an open mic reading at Neutral Ground Coffee House Wednesdays at 8 pm. VASO New Orleans Ultra Lounge is still hosting a Wednesday night spoken word event with a band, doors at 7. And the Maple Leaf continues its long-running reading series on Sundays at 3 p.m. (ish).