Stop Smiling magazine went under before I was ever able to get my byline in there (they went out with a bang though, with David Lynch on the cover of one of their best issues), but they set their sights elsewhere, becoming a book publishing imprint. Their first title also happens to be one of the best music books ever written, Dave Tompkins's glorious How to Wreck a Nice Beach: The Vocoder From World War II to Hip-Hop, and I love their second, Sam Weller's Listen to the Echoes: The Ray Bradbury Interviews. By the time they were getting their publishing imprint off the ground, I started working some of the events at their storefront on Milwaukee Avenue, and eventually, JC Gabel and James Hughes, the company's founders, editors, and publishers, became good friends of mine, which they are to this day. It's bittersweet to report that tomorrow is the last day the space will still be around under the Stop Smiling banner.
For their blowout event tomorrow night, Stop Smiling is hosting readings from a number of writers, including Jeremy Schmall, Michael Robbins, Adam Wilson, Justin Taylor, and Hannah Gamble, three of whom (Robbins, Wilson, and Gamble) are making much anticipated 2012 literary debuts. There will be a dance party afterward, and judging from Gabel and Hughes's taste, the music will be excellent. And there will probably be much more too—I wouldn't miss it. Here's the flyer.