Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Peter's Pajama Party

At first glance, it doesn't seem to all fit, then it becomes clear that this is a pajama a bookstore. There are quilts and pillows...and kids in pajamas, a dude with a guitar in pajamas, robe, and a stocking cap, and socked feet. He's reading, playing and singing...and the kids are in various states from enthralled to out-of-control giddy. It's quite a scene - it's also a heck of a way to kick off a weekend with a toddler as these hootenannies occur on Friday nights.

Enter Peter Holsapple. For those initiated in the ways of independent rock, the name is like a two by four upside the head. Peter Holsapple...REALLY!?!  Yeah, the same one that formed The dB's and played with little bitty acts like R.E.M. and worked with legends like Mitch Easter...THAT Peter Holsapple.  Enter Peter his pajamas - no joke.

The aforementioned scene takes place at The Regulator Bookshop on Ninth Street in Durham, downstairs where there is a coffee shop area during the day, as well as books for sale and an open space used for readings. That would be ground zero for the shenanigans of little people and their accompanying old(er) people.  It's a very "Durham" scene, especially when you add someone of Holsapple's stature in the music world in such an approachable setting; he's just a fellow citizen entertaining kids.

Peter's Pajama Party is free and open to the public and the next is likely to occur on June 17 - check The Regulator's site for more information closer to the date. It's about 30 minutes long, and it's a great stimulation for kids of all ages. Working the crowd like a pro, Holsapple is a true entertainer as he plays, sings and reads. The intent is to engage kids...but grownups are soon willing participants. The grins on their faces indicate that parents in attendance wish they had things like this when they were kids.

Holsapple moved to Durham after Hurricane Katrina left her mark on his adoptive home of New Orleans. No stranger to the area, he had lived in Winston-Salem as a kid. Returning with his family in 2005, he found a home for the pajama party concept at The Regulator. He now hosts the parties as an enjoyable creative outlet, as well as a way to forward the store's children's books selection. He'd done the same for a major bookstore in New Orleans and for several years running it was the best attended event the store hosted. He hopes to bring a similar level of success to the program in Durham.

Spend more than a moment in his presence and it's hard to miss the fact that he's a wickedly intelligent man. He remains engaged in his music career and continues to write and play as he can.  See this site for more information about his most recent efforts with Chris Stamey, his childhood friend and longtime band mate. He's also a devoted family man and works at DPAC - Durham Performing Arts Center.  As to his life, he says "It's pretty great." As to the Pajama Party...well, those are pretty great, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment