A rather strange-looking book alit upon my desk the other day. It told me it would teach me how to fold underwear. It lied. Luckily, the book did contain a rather amusing little cat-and-mouse story about a cute SF DJ traversing Hong Kong and surrounds in the exuberant days of the late 1990s. This is local author Steven Fruhmoto's Underwear Origami -- a misleading title if ere I've heard one. Nonetheless, Mr. Fruhmoto invites you to swallow your dismay at not being able to learn how to fold underwear (it's a metaphor), and accompany him to the location of the book's first scene for some beveraging, reading, and book signing on Sat/28.
I read the book, and recommend for anyone who is into tales that revolve around international party scenes, casual drug use, and Norweigan pop stars emerging from dancing mushrooms. Fruhmoto is a product of Dartmouth College’s masters program in electro-acoustic music -- founded in 1989, do you believe? -- and Underwear Origami's tone is educated in the bpm of the music that fuels its characters, but also literate enough that the whole thing doesn't come off as a product of someone's bed-bound Burning Man comedown.
Why the 1990s, though? Don't we have enough DJs around these days. Says Fruhmoto, via an email sent to the Guardian in response to that question:
I lived in San Francisco from 1994 to 2002. The period of the mid- to late '90s was a uniquely optimistic time in the city, and I wanted to capture the exuberance and innocence of that time. It was pre-9/11, with no Osama Bin Laden, no Iraq, no Guantanamo, no Great Recession, etc. It was also the early days of the Internet, with the excitement of the dot-com phenomenon, and the US economy was booming overall.
I suppose if I were to have set the book in current times, the feel might be a lot more edgy, because the 1990s were a very different time. Also, the advancement of music composition and performance technology, and the advent of the social media connectedness of people would be important themes. In terms of music, I’d probably be talking about the phenomenon of the mainstreaming of electronic musicians, and new genres like dub-step, glitchhop, etc.
Anyways, I suppose we're all in for some unique optimism. Drop by the Noc Noc for a free beer when you buy a paperback copy of the book.
Underwear Origami book signing
Sat/28 6-8pm, free
557 Haight, SF