Alan Black is the heart and soul of the Edinburgh Castle. If not for him, far fewer San Franciscans would have tempted the fate of their colons by ingesting haggis during an ode to the Ploughman Poet; nor would they have snorted whisky through their noses while reading Public House, the Castles own anthology of favorite authors. So, what is the subject of the long-awaited first book penned by the Castles authority on Lowland single malts, founder of the Swearing Festival, and Irvine Welshs bosom pal? Would you believe coaching his sons soccer team? Before you snarf, remember there are few people on this green earth as capable of turning a routine suburban rite of passage into such a resounding, acerbic hayride of loathing and hilarity. Kick the Balls offers a charming, cringing gambol through Blacks own youth in Glasgow, where bad haircuts and neighborhood toughs taught him the fine art of schadenfreude, as well as a fearless look at the bizarre trends of American parenthood, which have led the children on his team down a very questionable path. Namely, their routine desecration of Scotlands beloved national sport. Black celebrates his book release with live music by punk-of-78 tribute band the Shakespearos and Keghenge, an art installation based on the Summer Solstice, which will be properly tapped.
Sat., June 21, 8 p.m., 2008