Wednesday, January 24, 2007

What good is sitting alone in your room?

Latest quickie in Time Out New York: a review of the new Fujiya & Miyagi album. And look! A song from it!
MP3 Fujiya & Miyagi "Ankle Injuries" from Transparent Things (2007)

And now to the fun stuff, meaning the ka-razy Weimar New York show last Friday at Joe's Pub. Curated by Earl Dax (and previewed by my colleague Adam Feldman in TONY), Weimar New York is a diabolically entertaining revue that purports to revive the politically aware and subversively decadent spirit that once infused the cabaret scene during the Weimar Republic. Or did it? It's hard not to suspect that said scene is now largely idealized, but who cares when the new version is so wild?

The inspired organizing principle behing Weimar New York is that it packs a lot of acts into a couple of hours but they only do one number, two at most, so if things hit a lull, you know it won't last. How to describe the atmosphere? For me Penny Arcade nailed it when she exclaimed "I feel like I'm back in 1993!" Perhaps it was the heady sight of half-naked downtowners cavorting around a tiny stage. Perhaps it was a Belgian chantoosie wailing Brrrrrrrel next to a burlesque queen being molested by a severed hand next to a freakazoid (I say this with great admiration) flashing his anal piercing to the crowd. Perhaps it was Justin Bond singing Patti Smith. And perhaps it was that friggin' Penny Arcade was there! I guess that's what comes "from too much pills and liquor."

Next to that, Trisha Brown at the Kasser in Montclair over the weekend was quite sedate, but at the same time it was heady to see Brown herself get onstage at the end of I love my robots. If a 70-year-old woman choreographically engaging with robots (ie remote-controlled cardboard tubes on casters) isn't aggro in our age of youth obsession, I don't know what is.

Two of the three pieces used music by Laurie Anderson, and I was reminded of how well her work suits dance. It actually made me listen to bits from United States again—no matter how good Anderson sounded at the Kasser, there's still no way I could sit through anything she's released in the past ten years.

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