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P. Fanatics Presents: Why Would Anyone Want to Go to a Reading?

P. Fanatics Reading Series Presents: Why Would Anyone Want to Go to a Reading?

June 10th
Cole’s Bar
2338 N. Milwaukee
7:30 pm SHARP (in fact, get there early, hang out with us, nab a seat)

Why would anyone want to go to a reading? It’s a valid goddamn question, alright. It’s not like music, ya know. When you go to see a band, when you witness real talent, real joy, that’s one thing. Readings though, those goddamn things, they’re a totally different story…


Dan Shapiro
Stephen Tully Dierks
Roger Bonair-Agard
Tom Simmons
Cassandra Nguyen
Franki Elliot (maybe???)
Chris Bower
Heiko Julien
and hosted by Mason Johnson

With house band Hawiian Death Folk Presents

So go.

P. Fanatics: Sup, Bro? Recap

Saturday we had the first ever Piss Fanatics reading, and it went superb. It’d be a bit uncouth to do a review of my own reading series, so I’ll just do a quick recap in show of appreciation of all the talent that was nice enough to come out and read.

Dan Shapiro, my partner in crime, actually read twice, killing both times. I had him open up the reading, no introductions or explanations, just Dan reading one of the funniest stories I’ve ever heard about a man and a monkey. Don’t think for a moment that this is some sort of Any Which Way But Loose, Dan ain’t no Clint Eastwood, and Eastwood ain’t no Shapiro. Still, monkeys are cool.

Dave Snyder took the stage and did the theme proud as he read poems he composed with his bros, like William Blake for example, who, along with Dave, coined some of my favorite bro-terms of the night: Brobocop, Broseidon. Many thanks go out to Dave, Dave’s beard, Wordsworth, Blake, and Keates for pioneering Broetry.

I forgot that you’re supposed to take pictures at events for most of the night, but here’s one of the crowd, just a little too chill for their own good:

Kevin Kern took the stage after Dave and apparently impressed everyone. I was so nervous at this point I found myself downing beer as fast as possible, and missed at least half of his poem. It’s just Kevin, I thought, I can miss this. He definitely insulted me in it though, which was nice of him. I felt guilty for missing bits afterward as people came up to me and said, “What was that guy’s name again? That was good.”

I’m just kdding, I totally heard all of Kevin’s piece, and it was definitely great. People were really coming up to me afterward and complimenting me though. Why not him, I wonder? Maybe it’s the New Jersey accent.

(Mason & Kevin, besties.)

After a short break Jacob Knabb was nice enough to introduce Dan Shapiro, singing a little ditty to get Dan in the mood to read for a second time. Jacob sings a lot. Everyone seems to hate it at least a little. I’m not going to weigh in on the matter in general, suffice to say, it seemed to have a thorough effect on Dan, who didn’t move for the entire ordeal, not even when Jacob coyly slid his finger down Dan’s back.

Dan’s second piece was funny. As funny as his first piece? Probably not, it’s hard to top such perfection, but this one, a piece about God and the Devil meeting in a bathroom in limbo, is definitely a precious piece of comedy that just about anyone would laugh at.

Chris Bower read next and was another guy where people would come up to me afterward to tell me how great he was, as if they couldn’t walk up to him and do so themselves. He was typically only a few feet away from me as they did so. Now, I didn’t pass these messages on to him. Never in a million years would I pass praise on to him. I definitely do not want it to go to the guys head. Thankfully, I can compliment him here, since I know for a fact he doesn’t read this website. I don’t think he knows how to work the “damn fangled internets.”

With that said, Chris’ piece, almost every piece by Chris I’ve heard, gives you chills. These chills are accompanied by laughing, but the chills are still there. I don’t really know how to describe the bastard, he’s some sort of genius, infusing his prose with everything awkward going on in your mind. He has his way with your suspension of disbelief, he accosts it, he kidnaps it, he gets it laid, he gets it crabs, then chlamydia, he gets it to mouth off to its mother…

… I donno. He’s just great, okay? I’ve never been disappointed in anything done by the man.

Next time you see Chris, ask him what Brokakke is.

Jill finished off the show in what was easily the most well put together story of the night. A lot of readers at readings will typically create a series of jokes, or a feeble frame of a story to deliver a couple jokes with, ensuring that the comedy will come before things like pacing and movement, character development and story, things that make a story great, but don’t always communicate well when read aloud. Jill did not settle for just making jokes. She created a full piece of work, including all the elements of a great short story, while also making you laugh. She’s like, a real writer or something. Intimidating, right?

All in all, it was a great night! Thanks go out one more time to Dan Shapiro, Dave Snyder, Kevin Kern, Chris Bower, and Jill Summers!

Ray’s Tap Anti-Sex Reading Review by Ian Dick Jones

Ray’s Anti-Sex show was probably the best Ray’s show that there ever was and since nobody in the human race can outdo themselves I’m pretty sure that, because of the topic at hand, this will go down in history as the “Ray’s reading you should have been to.” A Woodstock of its own.

Chris Bower’s opening speech about how his twin brother raped him in the womb, then molecularly combined himself (the twin) with himself (Chris), brought Chris (the host) into this world as 1) already a victim of sexual violence and 2) with nobody but himself to blame was probably not only 1) the funniest and most honest thing Chris will ever say, but 2) the truth about humanity and the disgusting things we do to each other. He then said since it was the Anti-Erotica reading, that we’d get shot if he saw a boner, or smelled a wet vagina. Good job opening up, Chris.