September 18th, 2007



The first episode of K-Ville aired tonight. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great either. They definitely need to tone down the characters a bit. Someone needs to tell Anthony Anderson that every line doesn't need to be shouted at the top of his lungs.

I did enjoy all the New Orleansana, though at times it felt like they were being heavy-handed. Indignantly yanking the FOR SALE sign off someone's 9th Ward property and tossing it away? Yeah, we get he doesn't want people to move away because it feels like they're turning their back on his home, but some subtlety and complexity would have been better than that kind of over the top cinematic shorthand. It just comes off as cheap and pandering.

Still, I think it's just okay enough to make it worth another look next week before I decide if it stays on my DVR list or goes.

Kill All Your Russian Lovers

I've already mentioned that my cousin Jana Martin is a writer, and an excellent one at that. Tonight she read from her collection, Russian Lover and Other Stories, at New York City's semi-legendary club The Knitting Factory. Accompanying her was well-known, underground New York writer Luc Sante, who was reading from his latest collection, Kill All Your Darlings.

The Knitting Factory is a weird place. There was a huge -- and I mean huge -- line to get in, and I thought, "Wow, they're all here to see Jana!" Then I thought, "Wait, maybe Luc Sante." Then I told the doorman I was there for the reading and he waved me right in. Turned out the line was for something else entirely, and The Knitting Factory itself is a dimension-spanning labyrinth of event spaces upstairs and downstairs to infinity.

There was a pretty good turnout for the reading, which was held in one of the dimensional vortex rooms below street level. I got to see some family members, and Milda DeVoe, a friend from my writing group, showed up too. (Jana was a founding member of the writing group, but Milda only joined after Jana left, so they'd never met before.) At one point I could have sworn I saw Jim Jarmusch in the room, tall and wearing a helmet of supernatural white hair, but then suddenly he made like Kevin Spacey blowing on his fingertips, and was gone.

Jana read "Perforated: A Lexicon" from Russian Lover, a story about a woman who punctures her eardrum and starts losing her hearing, all told in mini dictionary-like entries. She also read a little bit of the title story, which is hilarious and heartbreaking all at once. She did a great job, as always. Must run in the family. ;-)

Luc Sante read a very funny piece about our culture's love affair with cigarettes. The thing about Luc Sante is that when he first took the stage, he sounded like a jaded history professor who was over it all. Then the minute he started reading...Bam! The whole thing came alive. His piece was fantastic. I think I need to read more Sante.