Last night, at the Housing Works Bookstore and Café, readers took the stage to perform “three-minute punk stories” (some of which were only nominally three minutes, punk-themed or even stories), an installment of an occasional story telling series organized and hosted by Jason Diamond, the founder of Vol. 1 Brooklyn.
Many of them were nervous—“This is my first time talking in public since college,” said Matt Elkin of the band The So So Glass—and reading aloud and using a microphone also proved challenging for them. Their talks covered similar territory—bar fights, Nazi skinheads, nasty hangovers, mountains of cocaine, parents who just didn’t understand, tattoos, going on tour with the band, and being “hardcore”—and they name-dropped like their lives (er, cred) depended on it. Evan Smith Rakoff, an editor at Poets and Writers, spoke so slowly that you could hear the PBR cans popping open like fireworks, whereas others spoke so fast that we aren’t sure of their names, let alone what they were talking about.
Maura Johnston, an editor for Village Voice who admitted that she “never felt very punk,” read a story off of her iPhone about how she dressed up as a punk for Halloween in 1984—perhaps a stretch, but a crowd favorite. Mr. Elkin’s tale was not a story (it was a letter that one of his girlfriend’s friends had written in middle school), but was damn funny. The last speakers of the night, three twenty-somethings from the band The Beets, were entertaining and more than a little funny, but they were also quite drunk. And if that’s not punk, then we don’t know what is.
Click through our slideshow for photos of the evening.
Photos: Marta Franco