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Chapter and Verse

Hodgman and Pollack
John Hodgman and Neal Pollack

The Current's new event series combines book discussion and music

Perhaps you've seen him on TV commercials playing a personified PC opposite his Mac counterpart. Maybe you've seen him opposite Jon Stewart on cable television's The Daily Show. Either way, John Hodgman will soon be opposite Mary Lucia at the Fitzgerald Theater in the first installment of The Current Fakebook, a new books-and-music series presented by The Current.

"It makes a lot of sense," Lucia says. "The combination of the music and the kind of writers that they're choosing has something very rock-and-roll about it."

The Current Fakebook brings together authors and musicians in a collaborative way that is intended to appeal specifically to The Current's audience. "We're trying to find authors who have a Current sensibility," says Leif Larsen, producer of live events at the Fitzgerald.

The Oct. 6 event will feature Hodgman along with fellow author Neal Pollack. Public radio listeners may know the two authors from their appearances on This American Life. They'll talk with Lucia about their latest literary endeavors: critically acclaimed works that push boundaries with humor and insight. Music will be provided by troubadour Jonathan Coulton and the Ames, Iowa band Poison Control Center. "It will be a cameo set from the band," Larsen says. "I saw them open for Tapes N' Tapes and they totally stole the show. They have some stuff that is being put in The Current's rotation now."

The Current Fakebook is distinct from the popular literary series Talking Volumes in that the authors and musical guests tend to know one another beforehand, creating more possibilities for interaction. The interaction will be extended to the audience at the Fitzgerald. "We'd like to do Q&A, just like Policy and a Pint," Larsen says. "It works perfectly with the kind of guests we'll have."

Larsen also looks forward to Lucia's warm interviewing style and her ability of "asking the questions that get people to look at things differently. Mary's great at doing that."

Lucia is a bit humbled by the opportunity. "It's kind of a daunting idea to step on that stage at the Fitzgerald," she says. "I'll just treat it like I'm in the studio and just sort of ignore the fact that there are hundreds of people looking at us."

(This article also appeared in the October 2006 "Plugged In" section of Minnesota Monthly.)