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Ballyhoo Stories - Fall 2005

  • Issue Number: Volume 1 Number 2
  • Published Date: Fall 2005

The second issue of Ballyhoo (meaning extravagant publicity—from the American, of course) brings together writers at all levels of their careers on the theme of “Songs and Cacophony.” The 8.5 x 11 black and white journal frames each story with a prominent black or white border. On the third anniversary of his mother’s death, Andrew Bomback’s narrator prank calls his ex to misquote the Beatles’ “I Will.” It once made the ex cum; now she hangs up. Bomback and his narrator avoid the maudlin clichés of unabated grief with sincerity and song. In Kyla Wetherell’s debut print story, “The Organ,” a grandfather needs a few more moments with his organ while his granddaughter waits impatiently. “The music unpacks every box. The exchange of octaves restores every item she had carefully, but for the most part thoughtlessly, sorted and stowed for the auctioneer…” Soundtracks of lives play out in Seattle, where a man encounters a street choir in “The One Note Choir” by Paul Michel. The choir sings the same note every day until one singer remains; Josh is unable to convince anyone of the choirs’ genuine intentions—for the sake of that note. Other tracks on this Ballyhoo album include: a performance by “The Greatest Hero Ever” (from Captain Kangaroo) in a high school auditorium is ruined by a glimpse of underpants; a road trip to a young couple’s musical idol, now decrepit and housebound, leaves them all drunk in Bill Cheng’s “Buffalo”; a lounge pianist wearies of the ex-pat life, one of chosen loneliness, in “Belly Dancing”; songs are as distinctive as the regionism in Emily Moore’s interesting travelogue of post EU, pre-ratified Europe. With its global audience and range of voices, Ballyhoo adds a distinct voice. [Ballyhoo Stories, 18 Willoughby Avenue #3, Brooklyn, New York 11205. Single issue $8.] — RT Duffer

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Review Posted on April 30, 2006

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