Town Hall 2 Recap

Another wonderful night of reading.

Mankaprr reading at Town Hall 2. Photo by Mano Sundaresan

Around 30 minutes before doors, our first guest arrived to purchase one of the last remaining tickets to Town Hall 2. Millan then did the concerned Jim Halpert stare at me. We’d sold out the reading online and weren’t expecting much more interest. But in the ensuing half hour, as we hastily set up purple lights and a dingy bar, more and more folks trickled in to secure the final tickets. Lots of awkward standing around mid-setup ensued.

If it wasn’t clear from my stammered speech to kick the reading off, I was genuinely flabbergasted by the turnout to our second Music Writer Reading. That it happened during a week of mass journalism layoffs was a kind of grotesque poetry.

Kieran Press-Reynolds went first, reading his head-spinning Pitchfork report “The Musical Age of Shitpost Modernism.” The whole room exploded when he quoted the great Ice Spice: “I’m the shit, I’m that bitch, I’m Miss Poopie.”

Alphonse Pierre followed it up with his raunchy Cash Cobain profile for the same site, along with a funny, yet sobering MarijuanaXO/Joe Pablo excerpt from his 2023 Milwaukee rap scene report.

Mankaprr Conteh ended the night with her sprawling profile of SZA for Rolling Stone, doing some truly *chef’s kiss* interpretations of the singer’s vocal runs.

An honor to feature all three of them. And the best part? After the readings, the night just kind of kept going. Millan and Will Gendron kept the drinks flowing; old friends reconnected; Twitter mutuals brought their interactions to real life; and I started playing downloaded Nav songs on the aux after the internet stopped working.

The thing about music writing that is lost on these stakeholders cutting jobs is that despite being relatively useless to artists and labels in the productive, star-making sense, it’s ALIVE. Music writing is always going to matter to the small minority of people who seek words for the emotions they feel and fresh perspectives on the songs that slide off their brains like raindrops. It might even make you venture out to a nondescript room near Myrtle-Broadway to see it come to life, emotional truths intoned and embodied in purple hues. Let’s do it again.

Photos by Matthew Ritchie.