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Long Beach event reinvents itself with spoken-word, music

Matt+Costa+performed+at+Lightbulb+Mouth+on+Sunday+at+Harvelle%E2%80%99s.
Matt Costa performed at Lightbulb Mouth on Sunday at Harvelle’s.

Matt Costa performed at Lightbulb Mouth on Sunday at Harvelle’s.

Patrick Moreno | Daily 49er

Patrick Moreno | Daily 49er

Matt Costa performed at Lightbulb Mouth on Sunday at Harvelle’s.

Patrick Moreno, Contributing Writer

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A unique brand of spoken-word and improvisational comedy re-debuted last night at Harvelle’s Bar in Downtown Long Beach on Sunday night. “Lightbulb Mouth,” known to local literary buffs as “Write Bloody Brothership (WBB’s)” is a sleeker and more refined version of a weekly improv show that used to be hosted by the same company at a different venue.

The show featured performances, both hilarious and intimate, by writers from all walks of life. There was also an appearance by pro-skateboarder turned folk musician Matt Costa, who played several tunes from his newest album “Mourner’s Song,” slated for release later this year.

“The ownership and staff of Harvelle’s have been very supportive, and it really is a different kind of literary show,” said Derrick Brown, host and president of the Write Bloody Publishing Company.

Sunday’s activity was a spoken-word competition between writers who got two weeks to write about a found object, ranging from a small brass horn, to a burnt golf ball. Afterward, the audience voted on the winner, who received a cash prize and all of the objects.

Despite the cocktail attire that was encouraged, raucous laughter was had by most, and the palpable pretentiousness of most spoken-word type events was absent. A price-break at the door for those in formal wear encouraged respectful merriment, and there were only a few pauses for quiet throughout the performances.

“I really wanted to wait for the right venue,” Brown said of the decision to bring back the intimate event at Harvelle’s.

WBB’s lead booking agent Daniel Lisi, who is also a junior English major at Cal State Long Beach, spoke about the potential he saw in the event from its earlier form as The Light-bulb Mouth Radio Hour.

“The other place wasn’t really interested,” he said “They didn’t care about being involved with this type of event.”

Lisi said that the WBB has learned from its efforts in 2010, and has constructed a more lean and fun show by shortening feature times, and eliminating some programming.

After performing, Matt Costa leaned on one of the booths with some of Brown’s friends.

He remembered how he first became involved with the project. Costa had done a show with a friend where Light-bulb Mouth used to be hosted, and Brown asked him to be a part of it.

“I’ve always tried to surround myself with literature and poetry,” Costa said. “So, when Derrick asked me to help I was honored. I think it’s a very respectable thing [they] do with this show.”

Lightbulb Mouth is held the last Sunday of every month at Harvelle’s (1432 4th St.) Cocktail attire is encouraged, but the bar is sexy and the show is easy to enjoy. Interested writers can apply to be part of the performance, and learn more about the Write Bloody Brothership at its website, writebloody.com.

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