You can't swing a microphone cable around Charleston's jazz or spoken-word poetry scenes, respectively, without hitting Quentin Baxter or Marcus Amaker. Now Baxter, who took home a repeat Drummer of the Year trophy this year from the City Paper Music Awards, is teaming up with Amaker to record an album of Amaker's poetry.
It's not the first collaboration between the two artists, but it will be their first time recording together. After Amaker released The Spoken Word, his 10-year retrospective poetry collection, in October, Baxter played in a backing band at Amaker's release show at the Mezz. Next week, Amaker and Baxter will enter a studio at the College of Charleston to begin recording an as-yet-unnamed collection of poems. Amaker says he expects to release the album in February, and he hopes to press it on vinyl.
Amaker says Baxter has been interested in tweaking the recording with effects pedals in addition to his signature drum sound. "I don't know exactly what all he has up his sleeve, but he'll be looping my voice and making it a sort of cool dialogue between my voice and his drums," Amaker says.
Amaker says he plans to record over the course of three to four days, and the material will include poems he's working on right now.
"It's going to be mainly new stuff," he says. "I'm jazzed about letting the new poems play."
Fans of stand-up comedy, social awkwardness, and This American Life (but we repeat ourselves) have reason to rejoice: Mike Birbiglia will perform a stand-up set March 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Charleston Music Hall. Tickets are on sale now via City Paper Tickets for $29 to $39.
Birbiglia has been developing his act for 12 years, often eschewing one-liners for long, personal, sometimes gut-wrenching stories. His confessional style blurs the line between comedian and plain old storyteller, and his accounts of making out in high school, ruining a cancer charity event, and getting hit by a drunk driver have earned him guest spots on This American Life since 2008.
2012 saw the release of Sleepwalk With Me, a full-length movie co-produced by TAL host Ira Glass, and 2014 will see Birbiglia touring with a new stand-up act titled Thank God for Jokes, which is billed as a set of "more painfully awkward stories in a show about jokes, and how they can get you in trouble."
Not familiar with Birbiglia's schtick? If you have Netflix Instant, you can stream his 2013 stand-up special My Girlfriend's Boyfriend. If not, Birbiglia has also uploaded his entire 2008 special What I Should Have Said Was Nothing on YouTube: