1. Doctor of Cultural Studies Kristina Pearstein, who I met last year at the Banned Books Party, & Philly Abe, who is a “minor cultural icon.” 2. Micha Warren, a photographer, Mickey Finn, a keyboardist (he plays for Left Banke and Boss Hog, and also backed up Edison during his reading), & writer/New Bomb Turks and Livids frontman Eric Davidson.
I got invited to Mike Edison’s release party for his new book, Dirty! Dirty! Dirty!, which was held at The Museum of Sex last night. My thought process went something like this: Sex + Books + Party = Done. And then I got a packet in the mail with the information on the book, and it included 3-D glasses for the book’s trailer, which sent me straight from Excited to Smitten. I mean, all things involving sex should be 3-D, right?
1. Edison edited Davidson’s book, We Never Learn: The Gunk Punk Undergut, 1988-2001. 2. Denise Pizzini, an urban farmer (the farm’s in The Battery), & Evan John, who works at Legacy Recordings.
I had never been to The Museum of Sex because it costs money and, as a college teacher/writer, I don’t have much of that stuff. It turns out that the museum is a great place to have a launch party, no matter what the topic of your book is, because you have to pass dildos and porn to get to the bathroom. I really think all reading venues should consider this for the future.
Anyway. Back to the party itself. It was held downstairs at the museum’s OralFix aphrodisiac cafe, which was dimly-lit and had plenty of seating, and was — yes — quite sexy. You could buy truffles and cocktails, or have a free glass of wine. The guests seemed to be more musically-inclined than I am used to, which was cool, except then I had to explain to them that Electric Literature was a literary magazine.
1. Alessandra Lusardi, who is an editor at Rizzoli Publishing, and Catherine Davis, who is the managing editor of Spin Magazine. 2. The man himself, hard at work. How many other writers have back up musicians?
Mike Edison definitely knew the dynamics of “launch party” vs. “reading.” The reading portion of the evening was short, as all readings at parties should be, and featured back-up musicians: Bob Bert (formerly of Sonic Youth) on bongos, and Mickey Finn (of Left Banke and Boss Hog) on keyboards. Edison also made his own musical contribution on a Mardi-Gras bead-draped theramin (I had to ask my musically-inclined boyfriend for help to figure out what that squawky box was called), which he frantically cajoled into sound like an adolescent boy trying to cause a girl to orgasm. We heard “mash-up” excerpt from D!D!D!, which began with the line: “Every day I wake up and thank the lord that cocksucking is not a strictly homosexual phenomenon,” and was funny and biting and all over the place in the best possible way.
This is just the beginning of Edison’s tour, which features: dive bars, book shops, lecture halls, and a pizza-naming ceremony (the Dirty Pie is gumbo-inspired, and features Andouille sausage and shrimp). And here’s a secret tip: there’s going to be more coverage of it here on The Outlet.
–Julia Jackson is the editor of Electric Dish. She writes fiction and has an MFA from Brooklyn College.