No one expects a fabulous evening of words and music on a Monday. I certainly do not. But I like to go out to the book readings that Words Worth Books publicises even if they are on a Monday night. I rarely know the authors that will be reading since they usually come from small presses. But I consistently find at least one or two that warrant further scrutiny. Tonight, however, the three authors from Blaurock Press would have each individually made any normal set of readings worthwhile. Collectively, they turned the Starlight Lounge into a literary event, a mini-happening, a pleasant surprise, and a fun night out. On a Monday!
The three authors were: S.K. Johannesen reading from The Yellow Room, Andrew Hunt reading from Dahlia Boyz, and Antonio Michael Downing reading from Molasses.
S.K. Johannesen’s hauntingly introspective novella established the level for the night. I was captured by his protagonist’s two encounters as he lives (hides?) in a yellow room in Denmark sometime toward the end of WWII. Even with such a brief reading you could tell this was highly accomplished writing. Very impressive.
Next up was Andrew Hunt who vividly read from his novella set in L.A. with loud, large characters that leapt off the page. He had the sizeable audience in stitches as one character, Skip, disrupted a reading at a bookstore of a newly published book on the infamous Dahlia murders.
The final set for the evening was indeed a ‘set’. Antonio Michael Downing both read from his novella, Molasses, and accompanied his reading with music and song, with the help of a percussionist and singer. I’m sorry I don’t know the names of his singer or drummer – they were excellent, especially the almost ethereal singer. This was much more than just a reading. It was a full artistic performance. I only wish there had been cds available to purchase.
All this on a Monday. Makes you wonder how the other days of the week are going to live up to the new standard.