- This is Sherman Alexie's latest book, Blasphemy. I loved it. Click the book to buy it from a local independent bookstore.
When I attended the APRIL Festival last year, I was blown away by the talent and the energy displayed by Seattle's literary community. I knew right then that I wanted The Stranger to host an event in the 2013 APRIL Festival. For the last couple years, we've been putting on an event series called Verse Chapter Verse, in which I pair a blockbuster touring author (Michael Chabon, Cory Doctorow, China Mieville, Colson Whitehead) with a great local band. And so I thought: What better way to join in on the annual celebration of independent literature in Seattle than with Seattle's most popular independently published author? Sherman Alexie has written dozens of books—poetry collections, short story collections, and novels—and only one of those has come from a non-independently owned publisher. He's a Stranger Genius, a columnist for The Stranger, and the best performing author Washington State has ever produced.
Verse Chapter Verse is a pretty simple formula. First, a local band plays a few songs to warm up the audience. Then, the author reads for a few minutes. I ask the author a few questions. You ask the author a few questions. And finally, while the author signs your books, the band comes out and plays a few more songs. It's the best of both worlds: A fun, relaxed reading mixed with a short, energetic concert from one of Seattle's hottest up-and-coming acts. Past Verse Chapter Verse performers have included Tomten and The Curious Mystery.
This time, we got Fly Moon Royalty (that's them right above this here paragraph) to open and close the event. For obvious reasons, Seattle's hiphop scene is under some intense scrutiny right now from the world at large, and I think Fly Moon Royalty is the next big thing. They're fun, they're intense, and they're slapping hiphop around in some interesting, unique ways. Alexie is a competitive performer—when I interviewed him for the first time, he compared group readings to pick-up basketball games—and I wanted to bring him together with a band that would bring out his competitive edge. Fly Moon Royalty is one of the only acts in town that I think can charge at Alexie head-on: They're funny, they're smart, and they're a ridiculous amount of fun to watch.
This Verse Chapter Verse is happening on Friday, March 29th at Neumos. The doors (and the bar) open at 5 pm, the show will start promptly at 6 pm. Tickets are $7 in advance, and will be $10 at the door. You can buy tickets starting right now from Strangertickets.com. If you want to support future Genius Award winners, we also have a $22 VIP package that will include a signature cocktail and get your name listed on online as a Patron of the Genius Awards, which you can surely parlay into real-world sexual adventures and respect from your peers. With this Verse Chapter Verse, I wanted The Stranger to bring an event to APRIL that people will still be talking about this time next year. This is that kind of lineup. It's all about the hometown pride. Buy your tickets now.