C. Spencer Yeh, "Standard Definition"

cover image In the first solo museum exhibit of C. Spencer Yeh, the prolific musician and sound artist shows off his more personal and playful side. The two installations and two videos show him equally at home in the halls of a gallery as he is on stage or on a record, and marks another milestone in his ever growing body of work.
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"RE-TG: Astoria, London" screening, 12/01/06, NYC

Imagine an uncomfortably warm and seatless room in the bowels of New York City's progressive PS1 gallery, an unintentional recreation of how it must have felt amidst the sweaty, awkward fanatics in attendance for this afterthought over two years ago.
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Coum Transmissions Films, Sunday Nov. 6 at Participant Inc.

Coum Transmissions was the  performance act Genesis P-Orridge, Cosey Fanni Tutti , and various co-conspirators, ran through the early to mid '70s.  Barely advertised, this showing of Coum videos packed the Participant Inc. gallery with viewers uncertain of what they'd come for.
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Margaret Cho with guest Dr. Vaginal Cream Davis

This September 1st show, which took place at the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, Louisiana, was the kickoff of comedianne Margaret Cho's "Notorious C.H.O." stand-up tour. I had no idea that I was right in the middle of Southern Decadence (a massive gay and lesbian festival in New Orleans), but quickly figured it out when a 6'4' African-American "woman" named "Ms. Dr. Vaginal Cream Davis", who claimed to be from "Africa-Germany" as well as being a "Celtic-African-Wiccan-Sorceress" took the stage as the tour's opener. Dr. Davis performed a few songs from her album, "The White to Be Angry" (interestingly enough produced by Steve Albini who worked with PJ Harvey and Nirvana), as well as "shrimping" (the sucking of toes as a sexual act) an innocent man from the audience. In between songs, Ms. Davis ate a combination of "Macrobiotic Aunt Jemima Light Syrup from Macedonia", whipped cream, and maraschino cherries from between the audience member's toes. This, she said, was a virginal sacrifice to some of the more important goddesses of ancient Greece: Chlamidya, Anal Wartease, Syphilis, and Gonorrhea. After parading around in her American flag dress, flipping her long blonde "hair" numerous times, and revealing her sequined American flag-print thong, she left the stage. A mess. Margaret Cho took the stage moments later. After gratefully accepting the gift of an "Anal Pleasures Butt-Plug" from an adoring fan, she began to work the crowd with her unique blend of style, simple grace, and childlike charm. Her routine, often centering on topics like the gay and lesbian community, womanhood, weight problems, and what it's like to be an Asian-American, was a series of sometimes hilariously exaggerated and sometimes touching stories. Between anecdotes about her (usually embarrassing) sexual experiences and impressions of her mother, Ms. Cho often offered bits of genuine, inspirational advice. One got the idea that this wasn't just some comedy act, but the keynote address delivered to a group so wildly different that they could only be classified by their status as being "outside society." In fact, the final part of her show, just before her encore, was a call for a "revolution" that enabled you to "love yourself and others without restraint-unless you're into S&M-then by all means, use restraints" was "long, long overdue." The feelings of pride, happiness, and acceptance that flowed between the self-proclaimed "fag hag" and her audience were almost palpable, making this far more than your average stand-up routine.
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Cole I. Bernstien presents "Time"

On March 30th at Le Chat Noir, New Orleans, LA, Cole I. Bernstien delivered the last of four evenings centered around the concept of (you guessed it) time. An eclectic grouping of music, performance art, dramatic performance, and video, "TIME" was, at it's weakest moment, still very interesting. Excellent musical choices (Stravinski's "The Rite of Spring," and Coil's "Time Machines") and a highly original set design courtesy of Daniel McKernan added a great deal to the atmosphere, which was generally pretty eerie and tense. The original music peices by Eric Laws (including the stunning "The Pendulum") and Earl Vallery were definite high points. Daniel McKernan stole the show in drag with his (her) sleazy, slinky rendition of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" and a sinister, upsetting interpretation of Shel Silverstien's "25 Minutes To Go." Compelling performances by Rose Fortner and Cole I. Bernstien in the segment "Day/ A Universe in Process" provided a lovely finale. Over all, "TIME" was a jittery and pleasantly nerve-wracking event. 
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After spending last week in Las Vegas (and winning *BIG*, thanks for asking), I caught my third unique production of Cirque du Soleil, "O" (named for I assume, the French word for water "Eau"), the "water-themed" version of Cirque du Soleil.
For those who have yet to catch Cirque du Soleil (either from one of the traveling shows they used to have more often years ago, the two Las Vegas productions, the Disneyworld production or the many times they air one of the performances on the Bravo Channel) you're missing out on a treat. To call it a circus is far from the truth, yet not at all false. Acrobatic, agile, flexible performers show off on the ground, in the air, and as in "O", in the water in a Fellini-esqe atmosphere. Each separate show has a unique story.
Imagine Dead Can Dance's "The Circus is Over" video come to life. Even the music is breathtaking, atmospheric. Costumes are beautiful and whimsical. I have known a few friends scared off by the price (O was starting at $96), but I have never felt my money more wisely spent then at a Cirque du Soleil show.
I understand that they are once again travelling this summer. If you've caught the Bravo channel's airing of one of the shows, and was as underwhelmed as I was, let me assure you that it's the difference between between throwing a bullet and shooting it. If you are within 300 miles of a Cirque du Soleil production, don't miss it! If you're planning a trip to Disneyworld or Las Vegas, you can make reservations for the show 3 months in advance, which I recommend you do. It's extremely popular and sells out fast. The show we went to went on sale the day we reserved tickets and we were still stuck with "obstructed view" tickets (which were still excellent thanks to the fact that most of the theatres they perform in now were made specifically for the show).
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The infamous John Waters (director of the classic films Pink Flamingos, Hairspray, and Pecker) currently has an exhibit at the Arthur Rodger Gallery on Julia St. in New Orleans.
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