Monday, February 9, 2009
Harvey Pekar Comes To Denton
So we admittedly have been a little apprehensive about various aspects concerning the lineup and admittance procedure with the upcoming NX35 in Denton. But I was rather impressed and surprised at the announcement today of a particular speaker for their Panel Series, "American Splendor" author Harvey Pekar. Pekar gained a higher profile for his life's work after a film version was released in 2003, thereby introducing him not only to people that are not comic book geeks, but also to makeup-caked Highland Park moms at The Angelika.
It looks like he'll mainly be speaking about Jazz, hence the name of the speaking event "A Conversation About Jazz," but Pekar is such a fascinating communicator, you'll surely be entertained even if you're not a jazz buff.
His most recent written work is a "graphic history" of the Beatnik Generation entitled "The Beats." He has also completed a rather ambitious and rarely attempted project: A jazz opera. The opera is called "Leave Me Alone" and stars Pekar as himself. It premiered at Oberlin college in late January, and you can read more about it here and actually watch it here.
In a recent explanation of his intentions to NPR, included was this great quote, "I'm trying to get everyman involved in art...And I'm trying to get them involved in thinking about what it takes to get everyman into experimental music or painting or novel writing. I think it's important to have the support of the masses."
Perhaps if Pekar were also performing "Leave Me Alone," I might actually spring for a sixty-five dollar badge to this whole thing. For now, I'm trying to figure out how to catch Pekar speak without having to also pay for the privilege of watching someone sing about how hard it is to be 23 over acoustic guitar at Banter.