Underland, Featuring the Music of Nick Cave

I just ran across this event coming up in Portland on March 13th: You’ve got yer Nick Cave music and your  modern dancers and you mush it all up with costumes by Imitation of Christ and that’s what you’ve got.

Here’s a really over-compressed short video about the show.

Underland video

Some of the songs included in the program are: Wild World, Mercy Seat, The Carny, The Weeping Song, The Ship Song, Stagger Lee, and Death is Not the End. The dance opens with a reading from his novel, “And The Ass Saw The Angel.”

Songs Least Likely to Appear In A Nick Cave Dance Program: Scum, 6″ Gold Blade, and Little Empty Boat.

Postscript: Wow, was I wrong about not using Stagger Lee in the program! When it started as a very intense, Apache-style duet between the brute and the maiden, and the first F-bomb dropped in, I heard the row of nice fifty-year old ladies in front of me take in breath sharply, and I thought, “wait until we get to the line about crawling over fifty good p*ssies to get to a fat boy’s assh*le.” A couple disgruntled ballet fans walked out, but I think the fifteen year old dance students were pretty psyched about a getting to hear a filthy dirty song.  My review of the ballet is a million, jillion gold stars, flecked lightly with blood. It was so super, I can’t tell you. If you hear about it coming through your town, I highly recommend it.

Pete Ellison is Great!

I want to tell you about my friend Pete. He set up this site for me, and made the above logo of me in my Gothic Lolo outfit, and remixes songs and generates new ones, and is a helluva Dance, Dance, Revolution player, and has had songs on two versions of DDR fan game In the Groove, and also made the song for this video, and was the first person I knew personally who has something selling on Itunes on his record label, Diskowarp. He also has songs in several versions of Dance, Dance, Revolution! He knows an awful, awful lot about J-pop music and Japanese pop culture, and once casually suggested to a J-pop band, The Moist Towelettes, that they cover the Frank Chickens hit, We Are Ninja, (Not Geishas) and they did. They even made up a cute little dance.
His hysterically happy Becky record is available via Itunes, and he also drew the cover. He also has music projects called Peroxide Mocha, Kid Whatever, and Grammar Rodeo. As if that’s not enough, he’s also one of the country’s foremost experts in hideous mugs.

He’s such a special person, I just wanted to take a minute to tell you all about him.

The Portland Invasion Of Damien Hirst’s Brain

damien hirst brain slices

A Damien Hirst exhibit got me out to the Portland Art Museum’s modern art branch, the Jubitz center (Paid for by the people who brought you The World’s Classiest Truck Stop!)   It’s really nice, with four floors of famous and less-famous artists, bringing Stumptown face to face with its first Kenny Scharf, Philip Guston, Francis Bacon, and more. It’s great to have a contemporary art wing to the sometimes fusty and provincial museum.

Once I had enjoyed Oldenberg’s giant, breathing icepack (later visited its brother in the lobby of Cedars-Sinai hospital when my friend Lola broke her leg), a nice assortment of Duchamp stuff, and the Longo crawling-drowning-yuppie sculpture, I made it to the top floor of Hirst pieces. Two of them were giant, one Pharmacy installation and a glass display of many, many animal skeletons. The other two pieces were a drug-spot painting and the above painting of sliced brains, that looked a lot like homemade seitan.

“But for me, from my point of view, I don’t mind if it falls over… if you break the glass you replace the glass, if the sheep falls out you can always get a new sheep.” – Damien Hirst

It’s good for me to go to the museum, not only because I love art, but it’s also a helpful reminder of how tired my whole nosering-and-glasses, bob-haircut, art-chick schtick is. It’s like coming to the place in Battlestar Galactica where all your identical Cylons live.

2015 Update: I was excited to see the Away from the Flock at the Broad this week.  He’s beautiful and sad and it’s like meeting a celebrity who is also a dead lamb in formaldehyde.

Gloomy, The Naughty Adult Bear

Judging by the referrals on my site meter, a lot of people are getting to my page because they are looking for pictures or information about Gloomy, The Naughty Adult Bear. Since I sometimes pretend to myself that I am providing a service, here is a good page from Wikipedia about Gloomy, a toy series and his creator, Mori Chack.
From his press release: Gloomy, an abandoned little bear, is rescued by Pitty (the little boy). At first, he is cute and cuddly, but becomes more wild as he grows up. Since bears do not become attached to people like dogs by nature, Gloomy attacks Pitty even though he is the owner. So Gloomy has blood on him from biting and/or scratching Pitty.

The moral: wild animals are dangerous, even when they are cute and/or pink. I’ll bet you didn’t know that a hippo will take your arm off if it gets a chance. I met a guy who was pulled out of a boat in Africa and badly maimed by the cutest, fattest hippo ever. Hippopotamus means “river horse” in Greek, but you absolutely should not ride him.

Many celebrities exhibit the same behaivor, appearing cute and harmless but lashing out when cornered, like Mel Gibson, Peter Buck, and that guy from Seinfeld.

Crispin Lovers

Crispin Glover was in town at the Clinton Street Theatre last weekend, presenting the oddest film I’ve seen for awhile, called “What is It?” It deals with Crispin’s rejection of the censorship involved in corporate backing, and his continuing interest in the “aesthetic of discomfort.” Almost all of the actors in the film have Down’s Syndrome, and although both Shirley Temple and a minstrel performer are in it, there is zero tap dancing, which I consider a tease. Crispin is on tour presenting his movie, which for various reasons is unreleasable, alongside his slide show presentations and readings from some of his books.

The evening started oddly when Crispin headed out onto the stage and immediately fell off the one-foot drop at the Clinton Street, hard. The audience held its breath, but when the actor sprung up and started reading from Ratcatching, we laughed in relief that he had executed a pratfall. Later, when he told us that he had really fallen and hurt his elbow, we felt badly. We didn’t know any better. We’re just an audience.

All in all, it was kind of nice being in a small room with Crispin and letting him make a world. He’s interested in Victorian novels, cut-ups, madness, films, sex, and animal skinning. Here’s a reading from the event from an unpublished book, Round My House.

For no reason, I’d like to point out one of my favorite Crispin trivia facts- He was George McFly in the first Back to the Future movie, but declined to be in the rest of the series. When the director opted to make up another actor in prosthetics to imitate the appearance of the original George, Crispin successfully sued for trademark violation. No matter what the pod people think, you can’t steal another person’s face without their permission, both written and verbal.

OnLeigh You

Well, if you recall, I threatened that we were dressing as deceased lifestyle artist Leigh Bowery for Halloween, and here are how the outfits turned out. They are a simple combination of 15 yards of fabric, four gloves, 500 pink paillettes, including those that have dropped off in my glittery wake, and a replica WWI helmet.

They are great to drink and dance in, but terrible to eat, negotiate cramped parties, and do rifle practice in. After 6 clubs and parties, a total of 6 people identified our artist, which was 5 more than we expected. I was somewhat surprised that when I ran into friends and acquaintances, I was recognized as myself with 100% accuracy.

Apparently, my voice is distinctive, as is my propensity for yelling. However, two of my friends said that talking to me in the mask for extended periods of time was “creepy.”

I found that answering the question “What are you?” with the actual answer, “Leigh Bowery“, was tedious after awhile, because if we were not recognized immediately, giving the answer did not help the observer.

Our final count for Halloween was THREE costume contests won, one of which Ryan had to pull off solo, and one of which we won despite having already left the bar.


*Please note: I have replaced my former spouse’s name with Ryan Gosling’s in all posts, because someone searched for him and wound up here and screw that.  Yes, I am extremely mature.

Laurie Anderson at PICA’s TBA

I am looking forward to seeing the Queen of Performance Art and half of the Coolest New York Downtown Couple, a Laurie Anderson,  performing in Portland tonight as part of  PICA’s TBA festival.  I have been a fan of hers since before I knew who she was, after I caught the last third of a performance of “Babydoll” on SNL in 1986, and carried the voice around in my head for two years until I was at a friend’s house listening to “Sharkey’s Day” from “Mister Heartbreak.” I met her once in Houston, TX, in 1992 at a pro-Dem art event, where she sat coolly on a picnic blanket in a baseball cap and I gibbered to her like an idiot.

And yet, I wouldn’t give a rat’s ass about meeting Paris Hilton.

P.S. It was a lovely show! Spouse was surprised that we were on the front row, because evidently did not understand the level of my Laurie worship and ninja ticket-buying skills. She has stripped down from previous shows to storytelling and violin playing, with a minimum of extra clutter. She dressed like a little Buddhist monk and told stories about her stint as N.A.S.A.’s first (and last) artist in residence, and about the 10 day walks she’s taken with her rat terrier, and about space and time and nature and owls and Thomas Pynchon.