Friday, December 14, 2012
November 30th Shattered Wig Night: A Booking Guy's Dream
It had been a year since the last Wig Night and many hairs lost and swirled down the old tub drain. For some reason I still get more nervous about these events than any kind of half-cocked performance I myself could do in front of folks. I guess it's the party throwing experience of worrying whether anyone will show and if they do, will they be happy or trash the couch and spill drinks on the oriental rug of your soul.
It was a fresh rollicking night from the get go since the long dormant 218 W. Saratoga building now also houses a gallery and none other than Julie "Never Saw An Event That Couldn't Be Helped By Some Bare Nips" Fisher was holding one of her wild erotic somethn' somethin' events. I even saw a blurry Plushie!
The lineup this brisk November night was golden and drew in around 60 folks despite the usual Baltimore flood of events these days.
The first reader was Cort (C.L.) Bledsoe who I'd first seen at Artichoke Haircut readings. He quickly took the air out of my Macy's Popeye balloon from finding out I'd been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by telling me he'd been nominated for three Pushcarts this year and that omnipresent sea mollusk Joyce Carol Oates was one of the judges. If you could go back in time, would you go back to when Joyce Carol was a kid so that you could live next door to her and traumatize her so that when she grew up to drop a novel every few weeks there might be something interesting in them? Break her Fisher Price typewriter for starters?
(ABOVE - Bledsoe with a very contented smile after telling me that my Pushcart nomination, like my 52 years, is meaningless)
Between scheduled readers we had a special visitation of Twain's spirit due to it being his birthday and it being a literary type event he hopefully would not have despised. His spirit was ably channeled by Alan Reese who spun some Clemmens' gold off the cuff and enchanted the crowd. Many thanks for that Alan.
And who could possibly have the effervescent gravitas to follow the haint of a literary legend but the ever brilliant and commanding Heather Fuller? Not only is her writing brilliant and fresh, but she also has a relaxed pro delivery that kept folks' Friday brains off the bar. She did not one but two funny scathing pieces about the bacterial squelch named Dick Cheney receiving a new heart. My aged fingers shook too much when I took her picture on stage, so here is a repeat of a photo where she could be in the dictionary next to "Health":
After Baltimore's Greatest Living Human & Artist Laure Drogoul watered down the crowd with bar beverages during intermissions, the sublime Omoo Omoo took the stage. With only guitar and a few effects pedals he transported me once again to verdant spaces near waterfalls. Intricate and surefooted yet never predictable his compositions be. The biggest surprise of the night after seeing the Plushie upstairs rub a one legged man's bare foot with an orange Louffa was when I asked Omoo Omoo after his set if he had cds to sell and he said Yes! These hairy youngsters of New Folk don't usually get the merch together. Pick up the Omoo Omoo cd. It's very different from the live experience, more like almost new age krautrock, but awfully damn good.
The grand finale was Saint Nathan Bell taking the stage with Kate Porter on cello and Eric Franklin on electronics. Nathan never fails to hit me down deep in my gut and this night was no exception. His interweaving with Kate's cello, a standout for me from his amazing "Colors" lp, was a particular treat. Sadly, he was having problems with his banjo strings so the set got cut slightly short, but that left folks time to move to an after party and time for me and Madame Drogoul to discuss mortality, Baltimore and the afterlife. Her altar has expanded with the grand spirits of Morris Martick and Chris Toll and we wished them a good night.