Two alternating currents, I guess.
Two different things I wanna talk about. I guess once comes first and is in the background and the other is in front of it in the spotlight so here is what's up: My existential crise continues, sisters. I am recognizing that I have internalized some fucked up shit, and I don't know where, but it sucks. In a shitty mood. Don't know who I am or am supposed to be. Yaddah yaddah. Trying to make art about but feeling like: what could I possibly make art about? Who cares what I have to say? Why me? Y'know? Like I have to justify myself or something. I'm just tired of feeling like, bad, man. I feel like I take a lot of responsibility for people's reactions to me, which I have no control over. A period of letting go. I feel like I'm really done putting up with unwelcome funkiness from people. Grrr. Mars in Leo. So that's on my back burner.
Even talking about it, my feelings, feels like obscene, so I am still doing it but want you to know that I think it's obscene too.
Okay, so the other big thing I'm thinking about is luckily a balm to all of that. I have had a couple weeks free from rehearsal before we go back into rehearsal for the play I am in which is going to open in NYC on 10/27 (I'm going to post about it separately). And even before then, I felt like I was always kicking myself for missing this or that show, so I am making an effort to go out more, and go see more performance art work music etc. I want more!
The last couple weeks I've been so, so glad to live in New York, because I've gotten to see some really amazing things. First off, my friend James Brooks Caperton visited from SF. You may know him as the genius behind THE JUDY EXPERIENCE, who may be one of my ultimate favorite musicians ever. He always has been. We've known each other since we were 15 (!!!). His first Judy Experience record, which is out on Cochon, is one of my favorite things in the world. Everybody who I play it for falls in love with it, and James, immediately. It's the ultimate fuck music, cook music, think music. I don't know. It's dark and dreamy.
I have heard tell about his sophomore album from other friends in SF, and I know that he's been working on it for a minute. I'm very frustrated, not only as his friend who misses him, but as a hard core fan. I want that record! In fact, my original home girl Cotton made the artwork for it. I saw this image surface online but I don't know if it's the real deal but it's gorgeous and of course does a spot-on job of portraying the new music:
James came through NYC recently and screened a movie he had worked on, HIGH BI GIRLS which features the brand new Judy Experience record. The screening was at Woahmone Rising, a favorite NYC party. It is, of course, the now-legendary Satanic Psychedelic Lesbian Separatist Dance Party thrown once a month by Nath Ann Carrera and Savage Child. It was the perfect home for James' movie, which was so Californian, trippy, beautiful and sexy. Nath Ann had a part in it too. Kids in the desert and melting into the sky. It was rad. The Extra Special Nice Thing is: James Brooks gave me a CD of the new Judy Experience music! From the movie! It's totally my new favorite record, and I don't know any of the songs' names. It's a lot more guitar-driven than the last record. Sort of, I think I would use the word "metal". But there're also, towards the end of album, some particularly delicious saxophone screech psycho runaway train rendezvous as well. He's such a perfectionist. He's got his sound together. It's really inspiring.
Okay, and then, Friday, I went to two shows. First, I went to FUNNY GIRLS TO THE FRONT a female comic cabaret at the New Museum. I got to be a back-up dancer in Erin Markey's piece. She sang "Hips Don't Lie" by Shakira and I was one of two dancing mummies, along with the Irish Horse.
The show was so much fun! Erin's number was great, OBVIOUSLY. She's a totally bonkers singer. She totally tore that song open, almost as if she was from some alternate universe, far more advanced than our own, and approached the song form the position of an alien princess. It made so much more sense when Erin sang it. I was deeply honored to be on the same stage as her, duh.
Another highlight was miss Bridget Everett, as always. She sang three original numbers, and wore a really wonderful gold dress, which she told us was named The Chardonnay Shocker:
She is such a beautiful angel. Baby girl. Bridget Everett is a powerful performer. I don't just mean that she's a great dancer, riotously funny, and such a good singer that she makes grown men cry. She's powerful in that she can command a crowd, with an eyebrow raise, though usually she does a bit more than just insinuate. She was fantastic and energizing and thought I am politically opposed to name dropping, I constantly tell anyone who will listen that she played my mom on TV (she did!) and I love her so.
Then I high-tailed it over to see Dan Fishback's new show, THIRTYNOTHING, which is about the AIDS generation, and ours.
I had put off seeing this show in its previous iterations, because I thought it would bum me out. And seeing it, I can tell you that I was wrong. I was not bummed out by his show. I was really turned-on and excited and, mostly it put me in touch with a deep sense of gratitude. I'm glad that Dan is making the work he is, illustrating the connections he is, and making things that much more possible for the rest of the ungrateful world. It was a hilarious and touching show. It made me feel really proud of Dan, and not just because he is my friend and I love him. It's a fantastic show and it is still playing in New York. If you are in town, or know someone who is, RUN DON'T WALK TO GO SEE THIS SHOW.
Feeling really happy and thankful for so much great work! Fuck.
Saturday, I had coffee with my One Straight Male Friend Who I Adore, Marcus. He is getting his PhD and will be a real live Analyst. He is deeply intelligent, sensitive, and fucking hilarious guy. I love him to death. We have so much fun together, drinking coffee and sitting in the park and just... talking. Like a pair of old ladies. About our lives, feelings, the Universe, the City, whatever. It made me feel really present and happy. We went uptown to Barney's to look at clothes and complain about the prices. He'll sometimes let me pick his brain about Analysis, and as someone who is on an extended break form therapy, it's fucking hilarious and fascinating to learn what the therapist is thinking about (from a practical standpoint) while the patient is on the couch. It's great.
Came home for a bit, and then went to CLUMP, the genius anarchist drag party thrown by Miss Colin Self. The theme this month was a tribute to BJORK, which was of course perfect. Performances by Clarissa Theteenagewith and Raul De Nieves along with Miss Colin were all highlights. Poetess, comic and psychic Caroline Contillo was there to perform, but there were technical difficulties and she couldn't and I'm still disappointed. Damn. We high-tailed it over to the city, to go to a totally batshit crazy gay dance party in TriBeCa called MONKEY ISLAND. It was nuts. Too too much fun, and the cops came. What the fuck, cops? Anyway, much fun!
This week, I went to dinner at my good buddy Walt Cessna's house, with lovely Nicholas Gorham. These kids keep me strong, man! So hilarious! Walt is such a good cook, and it was lovely to hang out. Again: things to put on the list of things that make you feel real. He also lives in the Upper East Side, which is my favorite neighborhood in NYC.
And then tonight, I just went and saw an excerpt performance of Young Jean Lee's UNTITLED FEMINIST SHOW. I of course know who Lee is, but had never seen her work performed. The show was fucking great. Thee Irish Horse is in it. I can't wait to see the full thing performed in January! There was audience participation, in the form of surveys that were filled out in between movement sequences. Ways of gauging the audience's opinion, and reminding them of their viewership. The movement/theatre work was really interesting too. It looked like, to me, and this was echoed by others in the room during the talk-back, that the show was a lot of fun to do. It seemed like a place we'd want to be. It seems like something the audience wants to be "in on". At the same time, it also looks really hard. Like, a lot of work. The movement itself is deliberate, poetic, sparse, smart, legible and pleasurable. It was really inspiring.
Again, I feel really grateful for the last week. Jeez. There's a lot of good things to think about, to take the place of these existential questions. What are any of these people's shows about, really? Everyone's show is about, ostensibly, the way they see the world. Right? When you get right down to it, the documentary film is about how that documentary filmmaker made that one documentary film.
I've had this really deep-seated fear lately that all I was capable of was making art work, having ideas about, or articulating only myself. Like, I only know how to talk about the way that I talk. That's all I think that I am qualified to speak to. And I think this might not be such a shameful thing, really. This might not mark me for the life-long ridicule I act as if I lived with. I might not be a total fuck-up, actually. There might be a context for this. There might be an audience? There might be something comprehensible to someone else. Maybe not. Either way, I won't know until I at least try it.