Or to be more precise, here’s a very awkward interview with an out-of-drag Glenn Harris Milstead on the British music television show The Tube, from 1983, which is followed by an excellent performance by Divine of her club hit “Shake It Up.”
While it’s understandable that straight-laced, square TV presenters might not know what to make of Divine (whose very raison d’être was to make people laugh by overturning preconceptions of gender and beauty), you would expect the producers of a supposedly hip, youth-oriented TV show like The Tube to be a bit more switched on.
Instead we get an interview by the bumbling Muriel Grey in which she suggests that Divine is insecure, repulsive, and somehow an affront to women. The hapless Grey comes across as the dullest of squares in this clip, which I guess is a danger to be considered when you go up against a glamor icon like Divine, but unfortunately Grey has previous form in conducting cringe-worthy interviews.
Thankfully, Milstead takes it all in his rather large stride, and reacts with the grace befitting a true star:
MF Doom is one of the most respected rappers and producers in hip-hop. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for “his” live “appearances.” I say “his” because quite often MF Doom, aka Daniel Dumile, doesn’t even appear at his own shows.
As has been reported a number of times over the last few years, Doom has a history of sending imposters to perform at his live events, all hidden behind his trademark metal mask. After various reports of this happening in the past, including this from The Kaos Effect, the latest non-sighting of MF Doom comes from Livin’ Proof in London. A statement on the collective’s Facebook wall reads:
To everyone who came down to our Livin’ DOOM event on Saturday and are questioning whether that was the real DOOM - we are in the same position as you. We had a legitimate contracted gig from his official booking agent and were in contact throughout the booking process with his US management, and label. We were even talking and working with the promoters of DOOM’s forthcoming London live shows in October and November.
As far as we were concerned, the real DOOM was going to appear… we received news from DOOM’s management on the morning of the gig that DOOM wanted more money or he would not show up. This show was done and intended as a very special and intimate show which was not about making money but putting on an incredible party in a very small capacity venue. As we wanted the show to go ahead and was left to ransom to this extortionate request, we agreed this even though this was a breach of our agreed contract. In hindsight, we should have cancelled the show then and there…
At 9.30pm after we had open the doors, we were told by management that he would appear but would not DJ and was just going to sign autographs. We said this was unacceptable as we had agreed and paid for a DJ set… 10 minutes later we received a call saying that he would DJ… Or that’s what we were led to believe.
As many of the people in the venue noticed, there is a very strong possibility the person that was finally sent down was not DOOM himself.
Doing this show has taught us a lot about how some artists operate and how they feel they can treat others and, most importantly, their fans. As fans of DOOM ourselves, this has left a very sour taste in our mouth.
Anyone who has been to Livin’ Proof parties always know that we do our utmost to provide the best quality show and we are so sorry for anyone who came down and were disappointed by the DJ set from the artist supposedly meant to be DOOM.
We will do our utmost to make this up to anyone who purchased a ticket for this event. We paid the fee upfront to Daniel Dumile’s bank account and have the receipts to prove this. We will be seeking legal advice and are doing our best to get his show fee refunded from DOOM and his management and will then take suitable steps after this action.
All the best,
Livin’ Proof Crew.
There is some doubt in the thread that accompanies the statement as to whether the person in the picture above is MF Doom or not. Anybody reading this have any ideas?
Some people are now suggesting fans boycott MF Doom shows, and even stop buying his records. There’s also a lot of talk about this all being part of MF Doom’s notorious “super-villainry.” Bullshit. Super-laziness and disrespect for fans is what this is.
MF Doom needs to take a leaf out of GG Allin’s book, who was a REAL super-villain. Sure, you may have got pissed on or kicked in the face at an Allin show, but at least you could be guaranteed the guy defecating on your head was THE REAL GG Allin.
Hot on the heels of his last video opus, the magnificent “Earthquake” (which we posted about here), SSION, aka Cody Critcheloe, is back with another clip taken from last year’s excellent Bent long-player.
Both the music and the video styles are different this time round, with the slick dance-pop sounds of “Earthquake” and “My Love Grows In The Dark” eschewed in favor of a darker, electro-rock sound and a straight-to-camera performance. There’s hints of Suicide in here, and also 90s industrial music. SSION’s gender-bending edge remains intact though, with the particularly fine shortening of the Marshall amp logo to simply “Marsha”.
As Cody mentioned in his exclusive DM interview from the start of the year, he plans to make a video for every song on Bent, and it looks like he’s going to make that happen. He has already been teasing his fans with still from the video for the track “Psy-Chic”, possibly my favorite on the album, and there’s an open casting call for folks to star in the video for “Luvvbazaar”. But for now, we’ll just have to do with this:
SSION “Feelz Good (4-Evr)”
As I have mentioned numerous times on here, SSION’s Bent was one of my favorite albums of last year, and I actually included “Feelz Good (4-Evr)” on my Dangerous Minds round up of the best music from 2011. Here it is again for those that missed it:
I’d like to wish Mick Jagger a happy 69th birthday by sharing one of the most electrifying rock ‘n’ roll moments in cinema: the “Memo From Turner” scene in Donald Cammell’s mindbending masterpiece Performance.
Hey LA, watch out, ‘cos Christeene is comin’ for you! Tomorrow night sees the obscene (and obscenely talented) drag phenomena bringing her filthy ass to your town, to terrorise the locals, and officially launch her debut album Waste Up, Kneez Down with a live performance at Trannyshack on Sunset Blvd.
And what a damn good album it is! Make no mistake: Christeene may come across like a novelty act, pushing drag to its most unacceptable social limits, but there is a true artist at work here, with a style, voice and a sound that is completely unique.
Waste Up, Kneez Down is the best album to come out of any kind of “queer” underground in a loooong time. Christeene (aka performance artist Paul Soileau) has really come through with the potential she showed in her early clips, and delivered a fully-rounded, tight-as-hell, funky and filthy album that can hold its own against anyone else in dance and electronica.
Producer JJ Booya has done an excellent job here. There’s shades of the dirty south and British dubstep in the bass and the beats, with a majority of the tracks being guaranteed dancefloor dynamite. The less dancefloor-orientated songs are like the demented, bizarre offspring of R Kelly and Beyonce, kids that came out all wrong and remain chained up in the basement, but in their isolation have developed a surreal and shocking humour all of their own. Just what exactly are you “Workin’ On Grandma” with, Christeene?!
I haven’t been as excited about a queer act since I first heard Yo Majesty, and there’s even some mumblings about Waste Up, Kneez Down being the first true successor to The Teaches Of Peaches. And maybe it is. Yeah, it’s that good.
You can buy (and hear) Christeene’s debut album over at CD Baby, and if you are anywhere near Trannyshack LA tomorrow night, then this is one show that’s a MUST. To whet your appetite, here’s an interview with the lady herself, care of the very nice people at Austin’s Vesper magazine, who did us all a favour by subtitling Christeene’s guttural drawl. There’s also some neat footage of Christeene performing live (and performing lewd acts) with her dancers, so you know what to expect.
It’s been a busy year for Anne Pigalle, who follows up the recent release of her brilliant album, L’Amerotica, with L’âme érotique, a selection of twenty-one erotically charged poems, each with their own musical accompaniment. The poems deal with love, sex, and soul. It’s a fabulous oeuvre, and range from the personal (“You Give Me Asthma”, “Lunch”) through the comic and the Surreal to the sexually explicit (“Saint Orgasm”, “X Amount” and “Erotica de toi”).
Throughout is Anne Pigalle’s richly seductive voice that sounds intimate enough to kiss. It’s a fabulous mix, and for fans of the legendary Miss Pigalle, it is a must-have. For first timers, it’s a breathless, arousing and unforgettable introduction.
Back in the 1980s, when I had nothing better to do than watch TV and collect unemployment benefit, I saw a video of the artist Bruce McLean. It was shown as part of Channel 4’s art series Alter Image in 1987, and after watching, my first thoughts were: Who the fuck is Bruce McLean and what does he want?
I was lucky, I had time to go and investigate. In the library, I found this:
Maclean / McLean an Anglicisation of the Scottish Gaelic MacGilleEathain. This was the patronymic form of the personal name meaning “servant of (Saint) John”.
Interesting. But not quite right. Later, there was more.
Working in a variety of mediums including painting, film and video projection, performance and photography, Bruce McLean is one of the most important artists of his generation.
It was with live works that McLean first grabbed the attention of the art world. An impulsive, energetic Glaswegian, he became known as an art world ‘dare-devil’ by critiquing the fashion-oriented, social climbing nature of the contemporary art world in the ‘70s. At St Martins his professors included the great sculptors of the day, Anthony Caro and Phillip King, whose work he mocked ruthlessly. In Pose Work for Plinths I (1971; London, Tate), he used his own body to parody the poses of Henry Moore’s celebrated reclining figures, daring to mock the grand master himself.
Pose Work for Plinths (1971)
The notion of using his whole body as a sculptural vehicle of expression led him to explore live actions: ‘it was when we (a collective) invented the concept of ‘pose’ that We could do anything’. Pose was live sculpture: Not mime, not theatre, but live sculpture. My colleagues, Paul Richards, Ron Carr, Garry Chitty, Robin Fletcher and I created Nice Style ‘The World’s First Pose Band’, which performed for several years, offering audiences such priceless gems as the ‘semi-domestic spectacular Deep Freeze, a four-part pose opera based on the lifestyle and values of a mid-west American vacuum cleaner operative’. Behind the obvious humour was a desire to break with the establishment, something that he has continued to do throughout his life and work. In 1972, for instance, he was offered an exhibition at the Tate Gallery, but opted, for a ‘retrospective’ lasting only one day. ‘King for a Day’ consisted of catalogue entries for a thousand mock-conceptual works, among them The Society for Making Art Deadly Serious piece, Henry Moore revisited for the 10th Time piece and There’s no business like the Art business piece (sung).
Now, I knew. Bruce McLean is a performance artist, a conceptual artist, a painter, a sculptor, a film-maker, a teacher, a joker, who knows art can be fun, which is always dangerous.
Bonus clips, including Tate Gallery interview with Bruce McLean, after the jump…
In fact, it feels at times like there’s so much going on within Performance‘s 105 minutes, in terms of philosophical scope and ambition, movies like The Matrix or 2001: A Space Odyssey seem almost puny in comparison.
And much like the London flat itself, Performance is a movie to lose yourself in. Since my preteen exposure to it via the Z Channel, I must have watched it a good dozen times. Nevertheless, the film continues to surprise me. Disorient, too.
Part of this was due, no doubt, to the alchemical editing of co-writer/director Donald Cammell, who sadly, took his own life in ‘96. Cammell’s ultimately tragic life and career is certainly deserving of its own post at some point, but, in the meantime, what follows is Part I of an absolutely worthwhile 3-part documentary on the making of Performance and the controversy that’s dogged the film ever since its release 30 years ago. Links to the other parts follow below.