For those of you who still think of poetry as the bastion of beatniks in berets intoning mind-numbing rants to finger-snapping aficionados, The 4th Annual Drums Inside Your Chest will change your mind forever. The poems voiced by the featured wordsmiths are vigorous, dynamic, exciting, funny, and as vital as the blood pumping through your veins. In other words, you need to see this show.
Started in 2007 by actress/poet Amber Tamblyn to raise the profile of poetry among Angelenos who thought they knew what poetry was and weren’t sure if it was okay to like it, the first Drums Inside Your Chest took no prisoners and is now celebrating its fourth, annual poetry concert. Sponsored by the non-profit Write Now Poetry Society (for which the concert is also a benefit), the event moves to the lovely and intimate Largo at the Coronet and features five, dazzling poets/performers. Actually, make that six with poet/troubadour Derrick Brown who co-hosts with magician Rob Zabrecky. (Because isn’t good magic like poetry of the fingers?)
The Drums Inside Your Chest has been called “a Woodstock of poetic celebration”; this year’s scintillating line-up includes Patricia Smith, performance artist, Pushcart Prize winner, and four-time Poetry Slam Individual Champion; “one man band” C.R. Avery, who has written six hip-hop operas and recorded 15 albums and who sings poetry while beatboxing and playing piano and harmonica; Rob Sturma, a seminal force in the L.A. poetry slam scene and now poetry chair of the IAO Gallery in Oklahoma; Anis Mojgani, two-time National Poetry Slam Champion, winner of the International World Cup Poetry Slam, and founding member of the touring Poetry Revival Group; and Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, co-founder of the NYC-Urbana Reading Series, youngest Slammaster in history, and author of five books of poetry including Hot Teen Slut, which was inspired by her work as an editor in the online porn industry. (Ms. Go Go thinks the combo of poetry and porn is kind of like bacon and chocolate; so weirdly, perfectly wonderful you wish you’d thought it up.)
It’s not just the featured poets who dazzle. Co-host Brown has toured and performed with Cold War Kids and Decemberists and appeared on Jay Leno; his work has been featured in books with Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, Jeff Buckley, Jack Hirschman, Amber Tamblyn, and poet laureate Ted Kooser. Expect co-host/magician Zabrecky, a Magic Castle and Possum Dixon favorite, to bring further off-balance edge to the show with his eerily unsettling magic while special musical guests GLISS bring “gorgeous shoegaze rawness” to the house. Bottom line, Go Go’ers, you will leave this one-night-only show ready to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
It’s understandable if you can’t wait ’til Saturday’s sure-to-be-sold-out show. (Ahem. That means order tix NOW, Go Go’ers.) Luckily, you can sample the excitement sooner via director Stephen Latty‘s intimately compelling documentary of the 2007 show that started it all. Check out clips of Latty’s fest fave Drums Inside Your Chest on YouTube and on the event website; just be prepared to get even more feverish about Saturday night.
Poets and patrons…let the wild rumpus start.
Ready? U Know U Want 2 Go Go….