WEEK IN REVIEW: triple bad, nobody move, 16th + mission

(Evan Karp)

We were trying on different hats and stealing glances at ourselves when the readings began at Goorin Bros. hat shop in North Beach, part of Litquake’s Epicenter series that featured Out of Our poetry magazine this month. Editor Sarah Page smiled as her husband Steven Gray read his poem about a frustrated couple on the first day of spring, jackhammers outside their window not blue jays [here for videos]. Then it was onto the 45, crushed against commuters in Chinatown through the Stockton St Tunnel, into the bustling cool of Thursday evening in Union Square and West up Post St to Café Royale, where two dozen veteran literati plopped down on plush sofas and shared a living room experience at the five-plus year-old InsideStoryTime reading series [here for videos]. No sooner had April Sinclair finished her tale about moving to Woodacre, in chase of the small town feel found in childhood viewings of the Andy Griffith Show, and only to be one of four black residents there, some of us hopped in cars and drove over to Fivepoints Arthouse to celebrate the release of Jesús Ángel García’s transmedia novel badbadbad.

Designed in the guise of old pulp novels, this first effort follows a character by the author’s name who works for a variety of churches during the day, building their respective web presences (and, consequently, the size and fervor of their congregations), by night embracing the role of sexual messiah on an online social network for extreme desires. A quick and choppy read that is fascinating for its grasp of the intersection between literature and our ultramodern modes of communication, badbadbad integrates other media – an original soundtrack and, most notably, a feature film in five parts made from short clips of local writers and nonwriters alike addressing the book-relevant topics fear, hypocrisy, sexual morality, e-intimacy, and self-destruction. Preview clips of the film were screened at the Fivepoints release party: mouths were agape, we tittered and gasped as we saw ourselves on the screen answering questions with self-truths we might never admit to strangers. The film was shocking for its revelation that technology somehow encourages us to be more intimate than we otherwise would be, and as a component of badbadbad it very much gave us a glimpse of the future of literature [more soon]. badbadbad.net

We, a noun that grows with each saturated week, piled into an old conference room in the Chronicle building to see Campo Santo’s premiere adaptation of Denis Johnson’s latest novel Nobody Move. We are converting everything we can into performance space (the play runs through June 12, see theintersection.org for details)… This past Thursday, the amorphous group of people that meet every Thursday night at the 16th & Mission BART station to recite poetry and play music celebrated the 8-year anniversary of this phenomenon with a crowd that reached upward of 150 (10pm on the SW corner). … Opium Magazine, creator of the international sensation Literary Death Match, recommenced its old tradition of organizing a drinking session for writers. The decision is timely, for with so much going on we might benefit from conversations not delivered in poetic meter. …So much going on, but here’s one tip for the weekend: Snap Judgment, the Oakland-based NPR syndicate that gives us “storytelling with a beat,” will produce a rare live taping Friday the 3rd and Saturday the 4th at the Oakland Museum of California (1000 Oak St). For tickets ($20).

A more detailed preview of this week here.