Wednesday, April 13, 2016

All Crime All the Time

What a week. Whew, I'm depleted. Spent. Ask your mom. But I'll rally once more tonight for the premiere of the Hardboiled Wonderland Film Series. You like crime all the time? Meet me at the Maplewood Library in St. Louis for crime flicks on Wednesday nights (not all of em, check this blog for dates) to get your criminal rocks off.

This week it's John Dahl's Kill Me Again - the first of three films about married people trying to rip each other off and do each other in he chose to kick off his career with. Come watch it with me and we'll tackle questions like what the fuck happened to Val Kilmer? Why isn't there a Mt. Rushmore of movie heavies with Michael Madsen's mug in the Washington spot?

And can I get drunk enough to limber my logic enough to tie it to Willow in like a Highlander-esque fashion? Sorsha and Madmartigan kissing and clashing through time?
But how 'bout a catch up on the N@B events I attended last week?

First up, N@B-Chicago. Terrific to catch up with his heinous Jake Hinkson and the windy city crew. Present were N@B crew members Kent Gowran, Kevin Lynn Helmick and N@B audio chroniclers Robb Olson and Livius Nedin of the Booked Podcast as well as director of a number of short films based on the works of N@B alum, Paul von Stoetzel (Viscosity is based on my story, Your Blind Spot on Frank Wheeler Jr.'s, How to Jail is from a Dennis Tafoya short story and the upcoming In the Kitchen With... on John Rector's sick fucking hilarious contribution to Noir at the Bar vol. 2 In the Kitchen With Rachel Ray). Also present was Crimespree magazine's Tim Hennessey and writers John Weagly and Michael Newirth.

I kicked off the reading with a piece that I should probably retire and Christian TeBordo gamely followed in the only manner one could - in a completely different and equally inappropriate reading from his novel Toughlahoma. Christian and I traded stories about our similar upbringings and ill-advised teenaged forays into Christian metal. Hmmm. Seems I've had very similar conversations with Hinkson, Matthew McBride, Kyle Minor and Anthony Neil Smith before. Perhaps the first non-fiction N@B book should be a collection of essays about Christian music of the 80s.

Ed Kurtz burned the bar down with a performance of his story about a drug mule with more than latex covered powder inside him, and Scott Phillips had finished off the evening with non-fiction piece about Jewish bootlegger Charlie Birger. Scott's piece recently appeared in the Riverfront Times in St. Louis and that issue featured cover art by Tim Lane. We passed out a few copies of the paper at the event.

And that's why you should be there in person, kids. Also - how about this shot? This is Me and Ed and Jake authors of the first three Single Shot novellas from Crime Factory Books (they're swell too, go pick em up L-R Freight, Saint Homicide and Fierce Bitches - while you're at it pick up Kat Clay's Double Exposure to have the whole run to date) all in one place. Three beardy dudes who've done time in Arkansas and their books through an Australian press. There.

While you're picking up the Single Shot run, be sure to snag a copy of the latest issue of Crime Factory -number 18- featuring fiction by Patrick Loveland, Michael Koenig, Bobbie Groth, Jay Helmstutler, Sarah M. Chen, Jacqui Horwood, Paul Heatley, J. M. Taylor, Greg Mollin, Jeff Esterhold, Benjamin Welton and Adeola Adeniyi. plus non-fiction bits from Benjamin Welton,
Gilbert Colon, Rafe McGregor and Mark Krajnak.

Quick drive home and then N@B in St. Louis on Saturday night where I was pleased to receive half the state of Kentucky to Meshuggah river city. Scott kicked off the night with a sample of his unnamed novel in progress before Greg Barth gave us a taste of Selena's mind.

Tim L. Williams creeped everybody out with a portrait of the serial killer as a young man (folks, pick his collection Skull Fragments the fuck up, like now - it's got the goods bad).

Next up Amanda Gowin gave a devastating bit of feminine fatalism (pick up Radium Girls with leaded gloves, kids) and the two of us sang a Huey Lewis medley duet. They all begged to be put out of their misery, but the next reader, Jonathan Ashley. was all Out of Mercy. Oh well, just The Cost of Doing Business with low-lives like us. Last Joe Schwartz cleaned house, but it's the least he could do after leaving such a sick and bloody mess in our previously pristine minds.
Seriously, dude performed a stand out piece of amongst fucked up company.  Here's some advice for all you N@B hosts out there looking to spice up your event - use the Schwartz. Give in to the dark side.

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