Went to the Rumpus/HTMLgiant thing last night. It was at this kinda fancy place on the boarder of Chinatown and LES. I said hello to Stephen. I went to shake his hand and he offered me a hug. He said he linked us yesterday. I said he was correct and I thanked him. Then I said it was good to see him and I walked away. He started speaking and then asked everyone to sit on the floor.
So we did.
This is the lady who runs the NY end of things on the Rumpus. She was wearing an amazing dress but she was very uncomfortable in front of the microphone.
This is Justin Taylor. It’s very strange seeing people, who are previously known to you only over the internet, in real life. This was an entire night of these encounters.
Tao Lin. Same could be said for people whose books you’ve read. He quit halfway through cause his throat was bugging him.
This girl sang Niko Case songs. I looked over and Tao Lin was asleep awake.
This is a terrible shot of Deb Olin Unferth.
This is a not-as-terrible-but-still-unsatisfactory shot of Deb Olin Unferth. Which is unfortunate, because I love Deb Olin Unferth.
It was in a very strange bar/restaurant place where they decided to put the stage at the top of the stairs. Which meant if you wanted to go get a drink you were out of luck if the show started up when you tried to get back to your place, and you were forced to watch strange images projected onto the wall of the bar and imagine they were accompanying the stories being told.
Tao Lin, Alina Simone and Stephen Elliot read a transcript of a facebook chat she had with a complete stranger.
And then there was Jeff Lewis. Who I used to not like, but then respected him quite a bit more after seeing him live.
He did an illustrated, A cappella song explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis. So… lifelong fan. He hit the nail on the head when he said he’d never played a gig where he’d acted as goalkeep by keeping people from getting their drinks at the bar.
Also, I met David Peak and Greg Gerke in real life. They are cool dudes.
Definitely worth the five bucks but it was a very strange night. I was expecting a more spirited celebration like the last Rumpus event I went to. It was at times a regular old reading, at times exciting and funny. Overall, I was more excited to see my internet friends in real life. Readings in New York should never, ever, be boring. There was one girl who sighed through her reading. If you are not excited about your work, what makes you think I will be?