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January 23rd, 2008 12:00 am MATTHEW KORFHAGE | Books

Triple Dare Reading Series at Someday Lounge

Vendela Vida joins the circus.


For better or worse, common-enough wisdom among event promoters is that audiences for different media don’t mingle well. Just as you don’t put Trace Adkins country roughnecks in a room with fans of Deee-Lite, you don’t generally follow up a play with a movie, and you don’t showcase interpretive dance at a speed-metal show (as if everybody didn’t like both). However, from the now-defunct Phase One: Words and Music series to the venue’s Tuesday-night free-for-alls—at which anybody who wants to hit the stage may do so, for pretty much any reason the law won’t find out about—Old Town’s Someday Lounge has made a rare habit of letting the oil mix with the watercolor.

Someday is thus a natural choice of venue for the resurrection of the quarterly Triple Dare Reading Series, put on by Portland’s Reading Frenzy bookstore and their co-conspirators at the Independent Publishing Resource Center. Just the single-book, single-reader approach to a book reading can be “a little bit boring,” says Chloe Eudaly, owner of Reading Frenzy, “unless the author is a particularly vibrant or interesting performer.” So the notion, it seems, is to mix it up a little with filmmakers and musicians and “dares” to the audience. It’s sort of a circus for the literary set.

For the inaugural Triple Dare event this Friday, Jan. 25, local folk-singer Shelley Short will provide the musical entertainment, and local filmmakers Randy Walker and Jenny Shainin will read bits of screenplay and show bits of film from Apart From That , their 2006 feature film that Seattle Weekly described as being “like Cassavetes in Skagit County.” Not to mention that the audience is also being dared to write up a “supposedly fun thing they’ll never do again” to maybe read to the crowd on the spot.

The featured reader for the evening is Vendela Vida, co-editor of The Believer literary magazine, wife of Eggers (I dutifully report), and the writer of a fine recent novel, Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name . The novel is part quest for identity redemption (as one might validate tickets in a puncher) and part heat bath in the failings of language, with shades of Joan Didion if Didion’s characters ever wanted anything at all. But you won’t hear a thing from it. Vida is to be reading from an individually bound short story, new to me, new to you most likely, named Soleil . I offer no previews, having had none myself, and cede to the author the element of surprise.

Almost entirely coincidentally—Vida was already booked—the event is also a 50th-issue party for The Believer , which is, in spirit, kind of like those 19th-century religious tent revivals in Lapland, except it’s for book readers and not disaffected Lutherans. Free temporary tattoos, we’re told, will be available.

ATTEND: Vendela Vida, Shelley Short, Randy Walker and Jenny Shainin read/talk/perform on Friday, Jan. 25, at Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th Ave., 248-1030. 8 pm. $8. 21+.
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