One way or another, Nathan Singer is going to play out his sarcastic satires onstage. When he's not fronting Cincinnati rockers Absinthium, Singer's on the road supporting his first "thrash novel," A Prayer for Dawn. "At first I thought, I have hit a new low in self-indulgence," says the 27-year-old Singer. "But people love it."
Who would have guessed? The 215-page book is about punk rock's underbelly, loaded with gangbang prison rapes, kiddie porn, and runaways on a "petty terrorism" spree. Watching it all unravel is Dawn, the eight-year-old daughter of an artist who uses child pornography in his work. "As I come from the renegade-guerrilla-alternative-arts scene myself, that seemed like a good place to start," says Singer, who's also a creative writing professor at Antioch College. "Cincinnati is such a bizarre, schizophrenic town that is notoriously hostile to the arts. It seemed like the ideal setting for an absurdist take on the topic."
The 12 characters are strung out on acid and meth, their stories marinated in black comedy. "They are all flawed," he says. "They are all damaged. They are all irrational. Just like we all are." Singer is at Barnes & Noble Bookstore (4015 Medina Road in Akron) from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday. Admission is free; call 330-665-5199. -- Cris Glaser
Buzz's Bright Years
Rocker's career went to infamy and beyond.
Buzz Cason recounts the highs and, even better, lows of his five-decade music career in Living the Rock 'n Roll Dream: The Adventures of Buzz Cason. In the late '50s, Cason formed the Casuals, and the group -- Nashville's first rock combo -- packed up a Chevy station wagon and trailer with guitars, amps, and drums, and hit the road on a wild ride of gigs, girls, and cheap hotels. Along the way, they worked with Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Brenda Lee. And when he wasn't playing in concert halls and bars across the country, Cason penned "Everlasting Love" and other songs, which have been recorded by the Beatles, Martina McBride, and the Oak Ridge Boys. Cason signs his book at 7 p.m. Wednesday, at Old Whedon Grill, 200 North Main Street in Hudson. Admission is free; call 330-653-2252. -- Cris Glaser
Junk in the Trunk
Car show gathers classic trash.
It sounds fancy enough, but Sunday's Concours d'Ordinaire is actually the name of a competition that awards prizes to crappy cars. "It started out as a way to socialize for Friends of the Crawford [Auto and Aviation Museum]," explains organizer Rich Novak. "We try to . . . make it informal." The only requirement is that cars must be driven to the event. Attendees even get a chance to drive a junker home: Up for grabs in a raffle is a 1978 Cadillac. "It's been 'sympathetically preserved,'" says Novak. The show takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the James A. Garfield National Historic Site, 8095 Mentor Avenue in Mentor. Admission is free; call 216-496-1078. -- Lucy McKernan
Glass artist David Bordine -- who's participated in the Lakewood Arts Festival since its initial outing 27 years ago -- got hooked via a broken lamp. "I got a glass-cutter and solder iron and started cutting it," he recalls. Voilà -- art! He's among the 106 artisans at the free fest, happening from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday on Detroit Avenue (between Belle and Elmwood avenues) in Lakewood; call 216-529-6651. -- Lucy McKernan