Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

Swimming in Language

Glad, indeed, I am. I got to s00j and Cat's Palimpsest launch party (Portland, OR edition!) and spent a few hours awash in words and music. Even when I was tired and having trouble following the snippets of story read by Cat (and her fellow readers Sooj, Kevin K' Wiley, and Cat's fiance Dmitri), I felt I was riding on waves of the language, which flows. I'll use the inadequate words "sensual" and "rich" to describe it. I'll use some of my Powell's Books gift certificate (still unused from Christmas; I've been trying not to buy stuff!) to get Palimpsest, and start experiencing more of what Catherynne M. Valente can create.

A happy surprise (actually, one of several) was included: stealthcello joined them as an unannounced player. And Betsy, as she does, rocked the sexy cello. Added to the "sensual" and "rich" quality I mentioned.

It's been so genuinely neat watching s00j developing her talent over the three years I've known her. I've said it before, but I knew from the start that she's hilarious, and more and more she's letting her humor be more obvious in her music. (Her next album will be called Mischief. Good.) She's also grown instrumentally, like the trip-hop-like wash of music for "We Are Shangrila," which started as a Burning Man tribute and has become an honorary anthem for Palimpsest; it fits the book that well. Sooj and Betsy played live to the pre-recorded trip-hop bed, and the live and recorded music blended well. It impressed me. More music washing over me.

Quick notes:

* Have the sort of performance anxiety that you want to counter by imagining your audience is naked? Do it with this audience. Sooj and Cat attract attractive fans.

* Like I did the first time I met Sooj, right before the encore a guy in the audience called out "Freebird!" Sooj, as she did to me that time, flipped him off and said "Free of charge!" She added "Loreena McKennitt was 'round up here recently and someone did that to her and she BURST INTO TEARS."

* Hugs were had, including several between me and s00j. I specified one of them for blubeagle, who met Sooj at the Cleveland show, but I screwed up and didn't tell Sooj Blu's LJ name. "This hug's for Magan," is what I said instead, which is true, but Sooj is more likely to remember online handles than given names. I mean, there's got to be plenty of Magans, but how many blubeagles are there? (s00j and catvalente, you met blubeagle at the Cleveland show. Kind of small-voiced, in a wheelchair; that's blubeagle. A bit of blubeagle, anyway.)

* Beer was given. I happily gave, and catvalente happily received, a Track Town Honey Orange Wheat that Fatboy Roberts recommended to me (Cat likes honey wheat beers, and I know close to nothing about beer). Sooj also happily received a peach lambic, because I knew she likes peach lambic.

* Thank you, greektoomey, for letting me dip into your chips! Just enough extra sustenance to give me the strength to go on. He's a sharer.

Visiting, chatting, and finding-out-about-each-other-ing (um) occurred throughout the night. The small-world moment was running into triskelmoon, who (she had to tell me) had been at the memorial for Erin Bennett; she'd known Erin in high school. I also met sheistheweather and others whose online names I can't remember right now.

The show wrapped up -- after a more Sooj-specific final set while Cat visited with fans and signed books for them -- and I headed out into the night, lucking into the last #19 outbound for the night so I could get dropped off a few blocks from home.

And then sleep was slept. Needed sleep, indeed.

Eating happens now, and later I'll head up to the Doubletree Inn next to Lloyd Center and attend today's Stumptown Comics Fest events. This is my other splurge for the weekend. Tonight I'll go to Cosmic Monkey Comics for the Stumptown Awards ceremony and the Comic Art Battle. Yay for free events! (Or almost-free. Stumptown admission is six bucks. The Cosmic Monkey stuff is free.)
Tags: books, music, portland

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