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Shit To Do (STD)

P. Fanatics Presents: Fame is Brilliant?

P. Fanatics Reading Series Presents:

Fame is brilliant?

Cole’s Bar
January 8th
7:30 pm

With Daniel Shapiro, Jac Jemc, Kathleen Rooney, Benicia Blue, Vanessa Pegram, Patrick Allen Carberry, and Jason Bredle.

Hosted by Mason Johnson.

Music by house band Hawaiian Death Folk Presents.

See ya there!

SHIT TO DO!!! (remember that?)

So it’s been awhile since I’ve posted any events. Sue me! I don’t care. Who cares. Let’s do this.

Write Club is in thirty-five minutes. So, uh, get to the Hideout. I did Write Club last month and beat my opponent, but only because my girlfriend was a judge. I am an avid supporter of cheating. Take that Ali Weiss. Maybe you shoulda cheated if you wanted to win.

Wednesday, May 18th

Trilling Magazine Launch Party Simone’s Bar 960 w. 18th street at 7:00 pm facebook event

What is Trilling Magazine, you  might be asking. Well I do not know. A new magazine apparently. I do know that they have some good people reading at their launch party though, so it must be good.

It features a reading by Patricia McNair, a music performance by Derek Nelson, and short stories by Matt Martin, Leah Tallon, Lauryn Lewis, Chris Terry, and Ben Kumming.

As I said, good people reading.

Black & White Night Hollywood Lounge 3301 W. Bryn Mawr at 9:00 pm facebook event

Not a reading, but a multi-faceted art event. Every other week B&W highlights a different visual artist, also including live bands, DJs, and the occasional reading when we’re lucky. This one features work by Ryan Narikawa, live art by Darius Dennis, a set by DJ Kendotronic, and performance by Soft Candy.

Friday, May 20th

Revolutions presented by Brinksman Press The Hidden Shamrock 2723 N. Halsted St. at 7:00 facebook event

According to the press they’ve let out, Revolutions is “CHICAGO’S FRESHEST EXPERIMENTAL LITERARY READING.” This means you should probably wear a hard hat or something if you go. Personally, I’m gonna wear a cup, but I usually do anyways. Seriously though, if this reading is half as “eXtreme” as it sounds in the description, it’ll be a good time.

Readers: Frankie Migacz, Behnam Riahi, Sandra Lee Ernsberger, Scott Patrick Barrons, Ian Dick Jones, Justin Bostian, Lauryn Allison Lewis, Maurice Meaway, Michael Meyer, Danyel Logue, and Jon Natzke. There will also be a performance by As Told by Heroes.

That’s a long list of names and, it being a list of writers, long bios. I can vouch for most of the names though, good people, even the ones who are technically, on moral and ethical grounds, are bad. Ian Dick Jones, who you might remember from the Ray’s Tap Reading Series review he wrote in which he insulted me and my bestie Dan Shapiro, is an entertaining person. A jagoff, but entertaining. And Sandra is significantly less of a jagoff, but as entertaining. Then there’s Lauryn, who has been reading everywhere and anywhere these last few months, which must mean something positive, right? (She does make good sugar cookies, which she had at her last reading.)

West Side School for the Desperate End of Semester Poetry Showcase! 3608 W Wrightwood at 7:00 pm facebook event

Jeez, these events could use shorter names. Names be damned, West Side School for the whozits, or whatever, knows how to put on a poetry reading. The kind you’d actually want to attend. And get drunk at. If you’re around Logan Square, you have no reason not to stop by.

Readings by Nick Narbutas, Stephen Dvorak, Chloe Kittle, Jacob Mays, Benicia Blue, Nate Olison, and Stephanie Lane Sutton.

Watch out for that Nick Narbutas those. He’s got some deep eyes, curly locks you wanna put your fingers through, and a way with words.

SHIT TO DO WOOO (okay, assholes, calm down)

Lemme apologize for being MIA on updates lately. It’s not that I have no desire to pump up other reading series, I’ve just been busy. Petting my cat. All day, every day.

Shit to do:

Tuesday, April 5th

SO YOU THINK YOU HAVE NERVES OF STEEL? 2319 W. Belmont | 8:30 Facebook Event

No, I’m not too happy with the results of my arm wrestling match at the last Nerves of Steel. Regardless, it’s still a good series, even if that no good, piece of shit, cheatin’, lyin’ Harold Ray does still host the thing. Thankfully, cool people will be there to even his destructive personality out:

Samantha Irby, Josh Corey, Carter Edwards, and Davis Schneiderman. Music will be provided by Katie Jo Knaub and Save The Clocktower.

See the official announcement at the2ndhand.

Wednesday, April 6th

The Encyclopedia Show: Spices Vittum Theatre 1012 N. Noble St | 7:30 Facebook Event $8.00 ($5 for students)

It’s that time of the month again. Encyclopedia Show time. This time around they tackle the subject of spices, something I’m not too excited about since I’m a sensitive taster. I just can’t handle spices. I am partial to Baby Spice (the spice girl, or a spice made out of babies? I’ll let you decide…), but that’s neither here nor there.

(oooh it’s Baby Spice (who is a girl?), now ya know! Sigh…)

Performers include Gabe Gudding, Cin Salach, David Kodeski, Susie Swanton, Johnny Lange, Jac Jemc, Scott Beal, Malcolm London, Anne Moertel, and an interview with Hot Doug Sohn of Hot Doug’s (which I love, best hot dogs in town, but I get mine plain for the above reasons).

Reading Under the Influence Sheffield’s 3258 N. Sheffield | 7:30 Website $3.00

OH NO! How will you decide between the Encyclopedia Show and RUI? Don’t look at me for answers, they’re both great and I ain’t choosing between the two. One is a raucous and fun time with alcohol, the other is a more family friendly, though weird to the max, gig at a theater. Figure out which suits you best.

Readers: Ben Tanzer, Eric May, Maggie Ritchie, and Byron Hatfield.

I would like to point out that Eric May has one of the most comforting voices in existence. And Maggie Ritchie not only has the best stories I’ve read about both chickens and pinball, but usually doesn’t smell all too bad. Depends what day in the week you catch her on.

Black and White Night Hollywood Lounge 3301 W. Bryn Mawr | 8:30 Facebook Event

Did Wednesday become the cool, hip night to go out? Why didn’t anyone tell me…

The great thing about this wonderful show is that you can probably make it to Encyclopedia Show, or some of RUI, then come and catch some of this goodness too. Black and White night isn’t always a reading, but is entertaining regardless. They tend to showcase some bitchin’ art, and will usually have some cool music playing. Plus booze is usually pretty cheap.

The featured artist is Tim Lewandowski, with live art by Brian Nolan, and DJ Kendotronic will be making sweet love to your ears.

Dj: Kendotronic mixes it up real nice
www.soundcloud.com/kendotronic or www.kendotronic.tumblr.com

Featured Artist: Tim Lewandowski

Live Art: Brian Nolan

Friday, April 8th

Shame That Tune the Hideout 1354 W. Wabansia | 6:30 Facebook Event

Those rapscallions Brian Costello and Abraham Levitan are at it again! Perverting the journals of many fine writers into song. The process is… questionable. At best. This time around they cover the subject of Spring, something that’s taken an awful long time to show up (it always does).

P. Fanatics Presents: Hair!

Thursday, April 21st is the next Piss Fanatics reading. The theme is one that is close to my heart: hair. Moe’s Tavern again, so go.

Featuring Mairead Case, Mary Hamilton, Mark Schettler, Matt Rowan, Ian Dick Jones, Dan Shapiro, and Samantha Irby. Hosted by me.

<3 Mason

First P. Fanatics Reading EVAR

Come to it. Moe’s Tavern. 8:30. Saturday the 19th. First ever Piss Fanatics reading.


There is only one reason not to go to the reading Saturday, and only Ian Dick Jones, the asshole of assholes, can use it:

Yep. Like I said, an asshole.



Posts have been sparse around here as I’ve been busy eating cereal and doing readings and probably other, very important things, maybe.

I took on Harold Ray at Nerves of Steel recently. But you know this, Matt Rowan has gone into great detail about this, so I won’t go on about it, except to say that Harold Ray’s a cheat.

I also read at Sunday Night Sex Show recently, showcasing the power of the Transformers Movie (1986). You see, every time I’ve watched this wonderful animated film with a woman, she has given me head. Sometimes I’ve even gone down on her (I’m a gentleman)! The crowd was a bit surly (drunk) by the time I approached the mic, but it went well. Not only that, but everyone else who took part was awesome, especially Samantha Irby, who read about anal sex, among other things.

There was also Ray’s Tap, which has been horribly reviewed by Ian Jones below. Ray’s is always, and was that night, a great show. My favorite moments were Dave Snyder teaching everyone about rhetoric, and getting to do a piece with Dan Shapiro.


Sunday, March 13th

TWW Rx Reading Series at Beauty Bar 1444 W. Chicago Ave. @ 7:00 Facebook Event

Beauty Bar, if you’re an awkward white male like myself, can be a bit uncomfortable. If you’re hip and cool, you’ll love it. Being so manly, I get a bit put off when I walk into a bar to see someone getting a manicure, with old hair-drying-seat-things (those chairs with the giant domes that lower onto your head) against the walls, and mirrors occasionally hanging so you can check out your pretty self at any moment. I’m not saying I don’t go here, I do on occasion, I just make sure I’m drunk before I walk in the door.

ANYWAYS, it’ll still be a great reading. Readers include Mairead Case (yay!), Harold Ray (boo!), Joshua Sinason, and Avery R. Young.

A very good lineup, with the exception of Harold Ray, that is. Mairead Case is one of my favorite people ever, and Avery R. Young is an intensely amazing man. I’m sad I can’t go.

Monday, March 14th (and onward)

Story Week!!!!!!!

Story Week, if you don’t know, is a week of awesome authors talking about stories. Hosted by Columbia College Chicago’s Fiction Department, which I was lucky enough to be a part of, it’s basically a week of partying with authors you never thought you’d be lucky enough to meet. Some of the authors this year are Irvine Welsh, Jenniger Egan, and Karen Tei Yamashita (and more!!!). I can’t emphasize enough how cool the shit they put on is in the Fiction Department.

Alba Machado over at Literary Chicago does a great job of detailing all the events. So go check that out.

Tuesday, March 15th

Write Club The Hideout 1354 W Wabansia @ 7:00 Facebook Event

You know what they say, “write is right.” Or something like that… I should probably delete this paragraph.

I’ve plugged Write Club a dozen times now and will continue to plug Write Club. I like it. It’s a good series. It’s fun and rarely disappoints. If you want to hear what I think, read one of my old reviews of it.

This month features Jennifer Bosworth VS Merrie Greenfield, Noelle Krimm VS Caitlin Parrish, and Chris Bower VS Ian Belknap.

I’m especially excited about Bower Vs Belknap, since they’re two people I love to hate, but love to see read too. (I’m probably, in actuality, secretly in love with both of them.) Especially Bower. That guy’s a wild card, who knows what you’ll get from him. You’d be stupid not to go see this. And! It’s in the name of charity. Don’t tell me you hate charity?

Wednesday, March 16th

Black & White Night Presents: Live Journal Reading The Hollywood Lounge 3301 w. Bryn Mawr @ 8:30 Facebook Event

Black & White Night combines visual art with awesome music and the occasional reading – making it a Godsend. This time around they’re hosting an open mic for people to read their Live Journal stories. Remember Live Journal? We all had one in high school. I was under the impression I had obliterated mine from existence, but it’s still around, so you better bet I’ll be there reading from it.

Saturday , March 19th

P. Fanatics Reading Series Presents: Sup, Bro Moe’s Tavern @ 8:30ish

The first Piss Fanatics reading. I’ll be talkin’ about this all freakin’ week. YOU HAVE TO GO. READ DA POSTER MADE BY JOE MYERS:




Quickies! tomorrow, guys! You should go! Haven’t had a whole lot of time to do proper posts lately.

Will kick things up a notch WHEN I FEEL LIKE IT.

Go to Quickies!


Ray’s Tap Anti-Erotic / Sex-Negative Show

Ray’s Tap Reading Series is a badly kept secret (cause there just ain’t enough room in the place to risk it becoming popular). It’s also one of the best readings out there. I’ll be reading a piece I wrote, along with a piece I did with Dan Shapiro. More talented people will also be reading: Matt Test, Dave Snyder, Lindsay Hunter, Tom Vale, Tim Racine, and Tony Mendoza.

Go, but only if you’re cool.