Aquacade I: followup notes
Here are my rather free-form notes on the presenters at Aquacade I, in (pretty much the order they read and/or rocked.
- Stephen Elliot label: MacAdam/Cage
Well, nothing starts a night off like some sexual abuse of minors. Well written and not what I was expecting.
- Prageeta Sharma label: Fence Books
I am not sure if you should ever introduce a presenter at a dirty bar with "She is a graduate of Brown and The New School." Hmmm. Not sure if I am supposed to care. I didn't, but that is beside the point. Sharma had a lovely voice and read an interesting poem about men's underwear.
- White Magic label: Drag City related: Quix*o*tic
White Magic was introduced by the guy who was M.C. for the event. I think he runs drag city, but I am not sure. My indie rock street cred is as low as it has ever been. He kept making lots of jokes that I must have needed special knowledge to laugh at. And then he introduced White Magic by saying, "They are the toast of New York. You Chicagoans in the crowd should be jealous." Hmm. Sorry. If that is New York's toast, they can keep them. The young singer looked as if she was twelve years old and sang like an adolescent clone of Cat Power's Chan Marshall. The music was good, but each song had the same vocal melody and all of the bad qualities of Chan Marshall's voice. I kept going back and forth on them, but eventually side with "Nah. Not so good." They also played a pretty long set for being in the middle of a bunch of other stuff I wanted to see.
- Bill Callahan label: Drag City related: (smog)
I have only seen Callahan play as smog once, but his voice sticks with you. He doesn't look like he would have such a powerful voice. And his words are not strong, in a manly sense, necessarily. The subject from his reading, an in-progress book of imaginary letters to his sister who was away at college, sounded like a collection of ramblings from a supremely indecisive individual, but were read with a straightforwardness that was quite a contrast. Callahan's wit is always very dry, even on his recordings. For a good example, listen to "Dress Sexy At My Funeral."
- Joe Wenderoth label: Verse Press
I have received some giggles from friends who were told I went to a poetry reading. I use Joe Wenderoth as a reply. "Oh yeah." I say. "This was a rockin poetry reading. There were lots of swear words AND an orgy with the messiah. Take that." I actually never said that to anyone. I will if the opportunity arises, however. Wenderoth read part of his hysterical Letters to Wendy's and a story about the disciples confronting Jesus about his penis. This question ultimately leads to the revelation that Jesus, in fact, has a vagina. And then they have a messianic gang bang.
- Harmony Korine related: Gummo, Julien Donkey Boy, Kids
As a followup to the story about Jesus, Harmony Korine read one piece from his laptop. The story was a disturbing oral history from a hired hand of the Vanderbilt's who was encouraging the young narrator's rape fantasies. Korine barely glanced up from his laptop and has a very quiet voice.
- David Berman label: Drag City, Open City
Berman was my main draw to the show, and he didn't disappoint. In addition to a monologue about truth and american presidents (not related) and a real mindbender of a story about an erotic science fiction author getting locked out of the world, he joined Chestnut Station for a rendition of the Silver Jews songs "New Orleans" and "How To Rent A Room." Earlier, I posted my videos of berman from the event. Berman has a great voice and a real slick sense of humour that hinges on a clever turn of phrase as often as it does an apparently ridiculous situation.
- Chestnut Station label: Drag City
This band was pretty good, but the M.C. of the even was their vocalist and it was apparent that only 3 people in the crowd had the requisite knowledge to appreciate him fully. Oh well. The bad was really tight and played some good rock. It was a great way to end the set.
I still have some pictures to post, but it is late. So off to bed I go......