A Happening Reading Relaunches the Basilica
A reading of renowned novelist and screenwriter, Rudolph Wurlitzer’s 1984 novel Slow Fade by singer-songwriter, folk-music legend Will Oldham (below), who has played with the band Palace Brothers as Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy. The evening celebrates the release of Slow Fade, the first in a new line of alternative audio books by Chicago’s seminal independent record label, Drag City. Oldham’s voice is on the audio book, but on Thursday night both Wurlitzer and Oldham will participate, accompanied by guitar player Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance) and with photographic projections by acclaimed photographer Lynn Davis. Connecticut-based artist Elisa Ambrogio, of noise rock band Magik Markers, will open the evening with her own reading.
The evening also marks the reopening of the Basilica, the 19th-century-factory-building-turned-performance-and-events-space across from the railway station in Hudson whose former owner, Patrick Doyle, had dubbed it Basilica Industria. Rechristened Basilica Hudson, it’s new owners, the filmmaker Tony Stone and his wife, the singer/songwriter/bassist Melissa Auf der Maur, hope to someday turn the building into a green production facility for film, photo, and music. Meanwhile, they are hosting events, such as Thursday night’s reading, and, on Saturday, Hudson’s First Annual Ramp Festival.
Slow Fade is a portrait of Wesley Hardin, a film director whose life has been devoted to the manipulation of images—on screen and at the conference table, with actors and technicians, even (and especially) with those closest to him. In his 71st year, he tries to divest himself of illusions, to make peace with his demons and his past. Slow Fade is by turns spare and eloquent, dryly humorous and darkly savage, a deeply informed novel about the unshakably transient worlds of the movies and rock-and-roll, as well as a rowdy account of the cultural and generational pas de deux that occurred throughout the 1970s—a dance that inevitably recurs to some degree as each subsequent generation has passed the torch to the next.
Rudolph Wurlitzer is the author of five novels, Nog, Flats, Quake, Slow Fade, and most recently The Drop Edge of Yonder. He is also a screenwriter, responsible for the groundbreaking scripts for Two-Lane Blacktop, as well as Glen and Randa, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Walker, and Candy Mountain. In 1991, he published the travel diary/memoir, Hard Travel to Sacred Places. He lives in Hudson with his wife, the photographer Lynn Davis.
Across from the railway station.
Thursday, April 28; 6 p.m. - midnight