Gretchen @ Quimby’s

I stopped over at Quimby’s after work, to catch a reading sponsored by The 2nd Hand.

It was good to hear Gretchen read her work again. I know that she’s put a lot of her energies these past months towards Literago and her new job at TimeOut Chicago. It was great to hear from Rob (who introduced her) that she’s going to be putting a collection of stories together – and even better to hear that she’s focusing on her own writing, after so much time focusing on other people’s writing.

Mickey Hess, who read some from his book Is Hip Hop Dead?. He cited Nas’s 2006 album Hip Hop is Dead, and the nostalgic tendency to look back on a time before corporate record companies began influencing/diluting the music. As a humorous example of the “early days,” Hess brought in some clips of Greg Nice and Smooth B (aka Nice and Smooth):

  • Found out she liked to eat noodles. For her birthday, I bought her a French poodle. Now, get down. Get down. (How to Flow, 1991)
  • So I can get mellow, lay back and let my girl play the cello. Hello. I hate Jell-O. (Funky For You, 1989)
  • A teeny, weeny midget fell in a well. I knew way back that my shit would sell. Greg Nice, the name rings bells (ding!) Call me Mister Clientele. You can’t play me, cause I don’t gel. At the Taj Mahal, I met Orson Welles. (Paranoia, 1991)
  • Hey yo, Dizzy Gillespie played the sax. Me, myself, I love to max. (Funky For You, 1989)
  • Greg Nice, my life’s like a fairy tale. Orca was a great big whale. I knew a fat girl who brke the scale. You won’t tell, I won’t tell. (Hip Hop Junkies, 1991)
  • Remember the man with the manicure. My sister had a baby; it was premature. (Step By Step, 1991)

Joe Meno, who read a short story whose title escapes me. He had a great reading style, and is someone I need to remember to look up.

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