American Realness

Hard to capture the pace, the breadth and downright complexity of tonight’s American PUSSY FAGGOT Realness.

The NYT piece on Earl Dax does get at some of the context and vibe of his events. I was there for 3.5 hours, running from room to room. And caught Corey Dargel, K-tel and the Dumpsta Players, Mykki Blanco, Joseph Kekkler, Holcombe Waller, our dear brilliant Jibz Cameron (Dynasty Handbag), the couple lip-synching “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”, Jeremy Wade.

Perhaps Earl Dax most brilliant stroke has been to team up with national treasure Penny Arcade who MCs many of his events (and performed in my Headfone Follies moons ago). Insuring the whole adding up to more than the sum of its parts she historicizes harangues and confronts, and that includes YOU, performer, and YOU, audience. Erok (Eric Singer) once told me his mission was to keep art in NYC dangerous. I felt some of that danger tonight (I court a different kind of danger in my act perhaps). Some barriers fell apart, somehow–I missed part of it–during Jeremy Wade’s participatory session, with all the house lights on (reminding me of when the Pyramid had to turn on the fluorescents and shoo people out the door until we were back to legal capacity). Penny intervened.

A word about the DJ-ing: Andrew Andrew were brilliant as usual, ingenious and technically slick, but needed sound quality to match and that wasn’t the PA equipment’s fault. And Miss Lady Kier Kirby, whom I probably last spoke to while adjusting her mic at the Pyramid 26 years ago, took me back to a place I like to go with “I Hear Music In The Streets” by Unlimited Touch. Here too (front room) the audio wasn’t up to the groove, and that *was* the PA equipment’s fault. Some folks listen with their eyes however, and Kier was in full flower; is glitter-icious a word?

Corey’s compositionally dense–often heart-rending too for that matter–songs were all the more subtle for being accompanied by an orchestra of all violin (courtesy Cornelius Duffalo and his looping rig, a part sometimes played by my man Todd Reynolds and *his* looping rig, so I was told by the ever-encyclopedic Nick Hallett.), maybe too subtle for the crowd but a good solution to short set length. Loved the drag and lip-syncing from K-tel & co. and the Albee couple (after whom Penny properly invoked John Epperson/Lypsinka).

Mykki was enlightened, daring a-cappella hiphop (meaning rap that sounds like rap, and not the Bowery Poetry Club)–does this guy have a producer (want one)? Joseph Kekkler was in total command of his self-reflexive operatic tale (or tales, I was trying to be in two rooms at once) and of us.

Penny, it’s easy to say “Jibz”! We should all say it often. Dynasty Handbag was so spot on, no intervention of any kind called for.

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