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.
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+.