Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Word Warriors 

The Perpetual Motion Roadshow -- indie publishing meets rock 'n' roll

Wednesday, Apr 20 2005
When corporate-backed music took over the airwaves, the only option for up-and-coming bands was to espouse the do-it-yourself credo that has now become de rigueur in the punk scene. Other art forms such as the cinema and the circus had similar DIY movements that went mainstream -- think the Sundance Film Festival and the Jim Rose Circus.

Though literary folk have long been self-publishing poems and novels, there hasn't been a nationwide network of independent-minded writers, until the Perpetual Motion Roadshow, which Jim Munroe founded to "showcase and propagate indie press alternatives to Rupert Murdoch-style consolidation," as he writes on the tour's Web site.

Every month a revolving band of literary troubadours surfs couches, drives questionable cars, and fends off word-obsessed groupies. This month's trio packs seven appearances into eight days and includes Todd Dills, editor of Chicago's The2NDHAND, who explained in a phone interview that he and his fellow raconteurs are enduring the rock 'n' roll lifestyle because they realize that there's a "need for an outlet for independent press folks."

But this isn't your father's poetry reading. Dills performs an ever-changing free-form improvisation that he describes as a "medley of short experimental pieces" collected from The2NDHAND, including such interestingly titled pieces as "110 Milestones in a Future Life" and "James Joyce Truck Sales." His Toronto-based tourmates are Liisa Ladouceur, who unleashes "sign poetry" cobbled together from words she's photographed on roadside billboards, and Ryan Kamstra, who's the "heir apparent to the dissenting tradition in Canadian poetry," according to press materials.

Together these bookish heroes make up for all the Paris Hilton bios crowding our bookstores. We'll take up Dills' rallying cry of "Literate Apes Unite" and urge you not to miss this erudite show.

About The Author

Jane Tunks


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"