Did you know the people behind this blog aren’t total shut-ins? It’s true! We put on actual pants when we leave the house and own cars whose registrations haven’t expired and don’t hoard old newspapers or empty cereal boxes or anything. We even have friends, although I’m sure at least some of them are just trying to use us to get into the fast-paced, glamorous world of music blogging.
This Saturday, not only will one of us be leaving the house, he’ll be plopping himself down on a stage and speaking in front of (hopefully) dozens of people! Yep, TWBITW’s own Andy Hermann (that’s me, talking about myself in third person again) will be appearing this Saturday, March 3 at the Voyager Institute, a pop culture lecture series that describes itself as “The Moth, a TED talk and a variety show all in one.” Ooh, I really hope they give me one of those cool wireless TED Talk headset mics, because when I have to speak in front of a roomful of strangers, my hands get shaky as fuck.
You might think from the above flyer that we’ll be discussing the weirdness of Michael Jackson, but that honor goes to the excellent podcast Heat Rocks, on which hosts Oliver Wang and Morgan Rhodes invite a guest to discuss one of their all-time favorite albums. At Voyager Institute, they’ll be talking about Michael Jackson’s HIStory with filmmaker Justin Simien (Dear White People). They’re the main event, we’re just the opening band, so to speak. Although assuming they’re going to focus HIStory‘s disc of original material and not its accompanying greatest-hits compilation, we should serve as a nice warmup, because Jacko got pretty damn weird on that record.
No, instead, the theme of our presentation, which will be hosted by my pal Rico Gagliano, travel writer for The Wall Street Journal (we’re going highbrow, baby!) and former host of the Dinner Party Download, will be “The Search for The Weirdest Band in the World.” In other words, pretty much the theme of this blog, although we’re going to present it less like a list and more like a travelogue, making stops in various corners of the world that are hotbeds for mind-bending music. So our approach will be less Trouser Press, more Lonely Planet, if you will. (We’re not gonna tell you which corners of the world we’ll be visiting — it’s a surprise! OK, fine, one of them is Japan, but you probably already guessed that.)
Also on the Voyager Institute lineup: a presentation and discussion of some of the 1970s TV commercials made by the Maysles Brothers, the filmmakers best-known for the documentaries Gimme Shelter and Grey Gardens. So basically, this whole thing is gonna chockfull of pop culture curiosities.
It all happens this Saturday, March 3 at Resident, starting at 4 p.m. (day drinking!) in the downtown L.A. Arts District. It’s free if you RSVP here first. I’m not sure what happens if you don’t RSVP, but I wouldn’t want to find out. You know anyone with the balls to label their event “TED Talk meets variety show” is not be fucked with.
You can read more about the event on Facebook. Hope to see some of your slack-jawed faces there!