Done Did It (and seriously, he did) starring Dorian Concept Live on Percussion Lab Radio on April 11th. With support from Sougwen, Machindrum, and Others.
A few weeks ago, I lost my voice. And I don’t mean the raspy voice we all know and love; you, literally, could not hear me. When my house guest left for LGA at around noon, I was able to both say and hug her goodbye. However, when I showed up in the East Village that night to hear some music, I had no voice, unbeknownst to me.
I live alone, and while I do sometimes talk to myself, I must not have that afternoon. I hadn’t seen one of my friends in a while, and when he asked me questions, I answered on a napkin. Then I asked the waitress what was on tap. One friend began writing back to me. I started to ask other people questions. It became what one of our friends nicknamed, “napkin poetry.”
The city is not really that big. I used to be surprised when I ran into acquaintances on the subway, now I’m surprised if I meet someone and we don’t have mutual friends. However, it’s a busy place filled with a lot of busy people with ambition, for better and for worse. It’s inspiring, but everyone’s always moving, and sometimes when someone asks your name and what you do, what they mean is, “Are you worth spending time on?” Of course, there’s a lot of really lovely, genuine people, but it had just been Fashion Week, okay?
So when your surrounded by people who will slow down, just a little bit, to read your responses on a napkin, it means you were lucky enough to happen upon some really good people.
(Photos by R.J. Valeo http://transelectronic.net/)
A promo video for Sepalcure’s new EP, Fleur, which recently came out on Itunes. Sepalcure is a collaboration between Brooklyn based DJ’s Praveen Sharma, from Percussion Lab, and Travis Stewart (Machinedrum). They initially nicknamed their music lovestep. It is emotional, layered, and complex, but will still get your feet moving. You could call it minimal dubstep or post-dubstep, or you could just listen and be the better for it. Enjoy.
Their promo video for Fleur and all their art direction is done by the Brooklyn based artist Sougwen. Her visuals are beautiful and quite stirring. A perfect match for Sepalcure, as her drawings are complex, moving, and very forward thinking. As she draws while listening to Sepalcure, their collaboration is a lovely reminder that the best part about music, is that it really does not occur in a vacuum; it’s about connecting, influencing, and evolving. Even when you’re at home on your computer (maybe blogging?), if there’s music on, you’re never really alone. Again, enjoy.
I won’t be the first reviewer to call Camp Wanatachi, a musical about lesbian sexual awakening at a Christian summer camp, subversive, and it is, but it is also masterfully subversive and poignant. Written by Natalie Elizabeth Weiss (of Unicornicopia) and directed perfectly by Matt Cowart, they never simplify, or worse, pander to the emotions of the pre-teen and teen set, rather recognizing that their emotions are both complex and straightforward because one hasn’t yet mastered (do we ever?) how to handle them. And sexual awakenings, in any form, can be pretty confusing. The play shows its campers struggling with the concept of doing the right thing while still being young enough to believe it is just that simple, and then painfully learning it is not; which I’d argue, is a beautiful process.
Marissa O’Donnell as Jana, is the play’s emotional center, and a shoe-in for Wanatachi princess, until she starts questioning her beliefs when she falls head over hormones for Titi, played by the charismatic, Krystina Alabado, a girl who wears “heels to summer camp.” Alyse Alan Louis, in Goth-garb as a Freak for Jesus, is hilarious but never one-note, and Keaton Whittaker plays Lauren, a cheerleader and Jana’s BFF who feels misplaced once Titi arrives on the scene.
Camp Wanatachi is hilarious and moving and backed by an electronic score (composed by Weiss with the electronic music from glitch-hop, lovestep pioneer Travis Stewart -aka Machinedrum and half of Sepalcure) that is as forward thinking as the musical itself. This electronica is steps (okay, miles if you want to see my condescending side) above what you’re likely to hear in the average club, but can certainly be found if you know where too look. The lightning design, from Marc Janowitz is phenomenal, and the cast is pitch perfect with a great sense of comedic timing, impressive, as most are teenagers. Weiss, who also stars as the girl’s music counselor, Corky, delivers an upbeat performance that straddles the world Britney Spears did no service to in the song “Not a girl, not yet a woman.” During music class/worship service, my sense of propriety was the only thing keeping me in my seat and not dancing along with the Christian campers. Thom Miller plays Joel, Corky’s love interest at the neighboring all boy’s camp, and he delivers a highly comedic performance in a role that takes an unexpected but not wholly unsurprising twist. A scene in the camp’s mess hall shines and shines a light on the precarious relationship between girlhood and food.
Camp Wanatachi just finished it’s run at La Mama etc with sold-out performances, bad news if you snoozed on tickets or are just hearing about it now, but the good news is, their success should guarantee them many runs to follow.