The Smart Set is a weekly feature, compiled by Lauren Cerand, that appears Mondays and highlights the best of the week to come. Special favor is given to New York’s independent booksellers and venues, and low-cost and free events. Please submit details to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the date of the event in the subject line.
MONDAY, 8.8.05: Ned Vizzini, author of Be More Chill, a paean to old-fashioned aspirational teenage life and futuristic pharmaceuticals, reads as part of the very apropos, then, “Waiting for the End of the World” (presumably sometime during junior year?) series at Club Apocalypse. 8:00pm, no cover.
TUESDAY, 8.9.05: Air conditioning is so bourgeois, no? Reclaim your bohemian roots by braving the summer heat (and the risk that poets will seduce you with verse, awakening your artist’s heart and inspiring you to quit that quasi-corporate gig and run off to a cooler climate to join the caravan, commune, or polyamorous entanglement of your choice): Tina Chang, Major Jackson, and Tom Thompson read from their work as part of the Word for Word series at the Bryant Park Reading Room. 6:30pm, free.
WEDNESDAY, 8.10.05: Katherine Lanpher welcomes Walter Mosley and Helen Oyeyemi (The Icarus Girl) to “Liberal Arts“, her nationally-aired cultural program for Air America Radio, which tapes live at Housing Works. Musical guest Abdel Wright has been called ‘the most important Jamaican artist since Bob Marley,’ by Bono. All three guests’ current projects sound highly intriguing, and in addition to being known for his excellent, bestselling fiction, Mosley is also on the board of TransAfrica Forum, and you can expect him to both make you laugh and make you think. Highly recommended. 8:00pm, free. Also on Wednesday, according to Living with Legends: The Hotel Chelsea blog, “NYT Sunday Styles columnist Bob Morris’ continues his ‘savage little cabaret, his take on life from the low-end of high society, weaving social commentary and personal narrative with parody and original song’ and accompanied on the piano by new Harper publisher [formerly of Miramax Books] Jonathan Burnham.” Stage fright? Doubtful. Fear of freelancers in sequins? Probably more like outright terror. At the Cutting Room. 9:30pm.
THURSDAY, 8.11.05: Maxx Klaxon tears up the decks at the Paranoid Style Listening Party, presented by Emerging Arts and put together by yours truly (so you know it will be fabulous!). At Lolita. 7:00-9:00pm, no cover.
Also, a special note for SAN FRANCISCO readers: Author Stephen Elliott has put together a screening of the documentary film Juvies, as part of an evening of culture and commentary exploring critical issues within a system “that has disintegrated into a kind of vending machine justice.” Consider this one a Bay Area essential for Thursday. Details are here.
FRIDAY, 8.12.05: Reverend Jen, author of the most entertaining New York guidebook that I’ve ever read, Reverend Jen’s Really Cool Neighborhood, hosts the Books Through Bars Annual Summer Barbecue at ABC No Rio, featuring live acoustic music by Rooster, Moonshine Shorey, and Toby Goodshank. Noted: “all vegetarian! rain or shine. this event is to raise postage money to send free books to prisoners.” Highly recommended. 7:00pm, $5 admission includes a plate of food. In Brooklyn, Rooftop Films presents a loosely themed evening dedicated to “New York Non-Fiction“. 8:30pm, $8.
SATURDAY, 8.13:05: Saturday is the final day for the “Red White Blue,” show, which “provides a platform for an exploded view of nationalist symbolism and a celebration of the gloriously skewed Ã¢â‚¬Ëœold gloryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ that is art-making.” My friend Nancy Hwang’s austerely meaningful Blue Button Project is included in the exhibition, at Spencer Brownstone Gallery. Saturday viewing hours are 11:00am-6:00pm; free.
SUNDAY, 8.14.05: God loves you just the way you are, but he loves you too much to let you stay that way (or to waste your beer money on a Cate Blanchett-less Dukes of Hazzard). Go see Junebug; it’s exquisite. Related: an interview with director Phil Morrison, the New York Times review, and the trailer for the film.