I'm flattered to have been asked to take part in an extremely interesting new series called Sound Hall. Rather than attempting to describe it (poorly) myself, I'll just steal from the effort's website, which reads:
Sound Hall is a curated speaker and performance series, presented by Championsound, cosponsored by the Public Humanities Initiative at Yale University, and Detritus Project.
The Sound Hall series gathers diverse audiences together in various public spaces throughout New Haven, with the aim of creating meaningful spaces for collective listening. Our speakers are fascinating figures in the worlds of music, film, journalism, literature, and beyond. As part of Sound Hall, they are given a stage to perform and discuss the music and sounds that have mattered most in their personal, intellectual, and professional lives. We believe music and sound collectors are also historians and that, to different degrees, we are all archivists. We collect music and sound in the forms of records, tapes, CDs, but also in different forms of personal memory and history. When we listen to a song, or a certain collection of sounds, we build particular stories around what we hear—about our pasts, our presents, and our futures. Sound Hall is where we will gather to think through and listen to some of those stories.
Sound Hall's first event features none other than Ian Svenonius, who, among several other things, has fronted several well-known D.C. bands, including Nation of Ulysses and Weird War. Apparently he's going to spin records—of what? I do not know—and talk about them, with me moderating the discussion between him and the audience, and possibly peppering him with questions myself. Like I said, I'm flattered. And psyched.
To prepare, I've been reading Svenonius's 2006 collection of essays, The Psychic Soviet. I plan to write more about this book when I'm done, but right now, suffice to say that its adorable exterior (it's so little! And hot pink! Yes, nod to the Little Red Book caught, thanks)—belies the hilarious, excoriating, brilliant/zany arguments lodged within.
I'm excited. And you should be, too. Come on down.
Ian Svenonius speaks at the first Sound Hall at Detritus, 71 Orange Street, New Haven, CT.
6 p.m. Free.