This event was the latest in our Originals Series, a semi-regular pairing of an author and a musician for a night of drinks, music, and conversation hosted by David Rees at Studio-X in downtown Manhattan. You can watch videos from previous events—and find out when the next one’s coming up—on the Originals Series Events page.
Goosebumps are my favorite feeling. I get goosebumps once a month—maybe twice, if I’m listening to Mahler while skydiving through the Horse Head Nebula. But that usually doesn’t happen. So let’s just say I rarely get goosebumps, which is a shame. The crazy thing about this event with Lindsay and Holly was that I got goosebumps TWICE. Twice in one night!
I walked into this one not really knowing what to expect. I had never met Lindsay Hunter because she lives in Chicago, and I had never met Holly Miranda because she lives in California, and I try to limit my exposure to people who don’t live in my house, which is why I only truly know myself. But we had a great time! They’re both really friendly, although they approach social interactions with different strategies. Lindsay steamrollers you with friendliness, while Holly’s style is a bit quieter. Now, I’m writing as if I know these guys, but really I’m basing all my analysis on the single hour I spent in their company, so I could be totally wrong. I’m just trying to give you a sense of what this night was like. At some point I realized Holly and I needed to just get out of Lindsay’s way and let her spit fire all over the room.
Speaking of which, she (Lindsay) opened the event with a live reading, which we had never done before. She burned through a gruesome post-apocalyptic story called “After,” which put everyone in the room on notice, as she was not honoring the traditional literary-reading style of mumbling over the top of her book while refusing to make eye contact with anyone other than her shoes. She’s involved in a flash fiction reading series in Chicago, where authors read really short stories. (Remember, what might pass as a “short story” when printed in The New Yorker could well take twenty minutes to read aloud, which would be agonizing, so kudos to the flash fictionites for honoring the aural aspect of short-story writing.)
Okay, about the goosebumps: We started talking about one of my favorite videos of all time, which is a grainy camcorder document of Stevie Nicks singing to her make-up artist. It’s available on YouTube, one of the hottest video sites. I’ve probably watched this video thirty times. When I mentioned this video, both Lindsay and Holly knew exactly what I was talking about! I felt like I had finally found my tribe . . . and I got goosebumps.
Eventually the people running our show were able to project the Stevie Nicks video on the wall of Studio-X, and we made the audience bask in the gypsy-wiccan-purple-scarf glory of Stevie Nicks.
Then Holly Miranda sang. I never saw Jeff Buckley live, but it must have been a lot like watching Holly: Soulful, incredibly melodic, and super-duper-heart-on-your-sleevey. I was standing maybe ten feet away from her. The last song she performed was a cover of Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind.” I just about fell out of my skin, I was getting goosebumps so hard! She killed that song, and when I got back to my house in the woods I listened to it over and over again, experiencing waves of emotion and wonder.
I give this event 12 out of 10 stars.