LAND-08.09 | August 3-4, 2009

Featuring: Alec Hanley Bemis • Brandon Stosuy • Buke and Gase • Colin Stetson • Lawrence Weschler • Matt Luem • Rachel Cohen

Alec Hanley Bemis curated this edition of the long-running Happy Ending Reading & Music series at Joe’s Pub on the theme of Process & Progress—a night devoted to people who make things and how they do it. It was an evening about creativity in action—how makers actually make what they make, including all their visionary insights and petty concerns. There are sub-themes of duality and repetition; artistic innovation and invention; the psychological relationship between shrink and patient, interviewer and subject; and also some brief insights into make-up, modern clowning and the ways artists outfit themselves to cope with the world’s harsh vacuity, distractions & short attention spans.

Participants included:

  • Colin Stetson who delivered an opening invocation on solo saxophone
  • Buke and Gase (at the time still going by the moniker Buke and Gass) who showed off their instrumental creations at a stage of their career before they had released a full-length record.
  • Rachel Cohen who read from her book A Chance Meeting: Intertwined Lives of American Writers and Artists, which traces thirty-six actual encounters among writers and artists over the course of a century,
  • Brandon Stosuy alongside Matt Luem, in a presentation drawn from Stosuy’s then-in-progress oral history of American black metal, a section of which ran in The Believer, but was never completed
  • Lawrence Weschler in a reading drawn from his books about two visual artists—Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: A Life of Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin and True To Life: Twenty-Five Years of Conversations with David Hockney

Maybe it was relevant, stimulating, and occasionally humorous, if not in a “funny ha ha” way, then in the manner in which a small baby sometimes puzzles over the food they’re given to eat.

PICTURED (clockwise starting with image to the right): Happy Ending founder Amanda Stern with Matt Luem (Rachel Cohen in background); backstage pre-show with Arone Dyer, Colin Stetson, Alec Hanley Bemis & Brandon Stosuy; Stetson doing his opening invocation; and Weschler during his presentation.

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