Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday Afternoon in Tompkins Square Park: Alpha Women Attack the Lower East Side!

This afternoon we caught about 90 minutes of "Alpha Women Invade the Lower East Side!" - a four-hour concert and political rally uniting women and their comrades (we fall into the latter category) of different art backgrounds and music genres including: rock, punk, perverse poetry, alt-performances, and musical comedy.

It was co-emceed by the subversive yet comically musical Killer Killy and the fetching yet powerful Our Lady of Perpetual PMS of the Gorgeous Ladies of Bloodwrestling (GLOB)

and featured the following performers:
JENNIFER BLOWDRYER: (LES writer w/Tales from The Lower East Side)
RACHEL CLEARY: (political storyteller)
MICHELLE LEONA: (haunting and horny accordian songs)
ROSIE REBEL: (showcases her bra inventions...on roller skates!)
SARAH B.: (punk teen poet sensation)
NEOANGIN: (one man electronics-gone-mad-art band from Berlin w/paintings & masks
JESSICA DELFINO: (raunchy, insurgent rock & folk)
(debut of the Teen Girl Indie Pop-Rock Players!)
LONE VEIN: (Day of The Dead-inspired "gloom tunes"
RUBBER ROOM RATS: (Female-fronted freaky post-punk
DETHRACE: (a theatrical art rock experience...10 ft. tall fiberglass super-robots,
playing 666 volts of metal!
plus some surprise guests. Here are some of our lousy cellphone pics:

There was a clothing swap. Actually, you could just take what you wanted to wear. Unfortunately nothing was in our size.

A table for Brooklyn-Queens NOW, the National Organization for Women, whose national political action committee - seriously - endorsed us twice when we ran for Congress in Florida, 1994 and then in 2004. NOW is still necessary.

A table for Fertility Awareness, which we didn't spend too much time at, being 58 and post-menopausal.

Michelle Leona performing one of her haunting and horny accordion songs. "Lady of Spain" was not among them :(

Punk teen poet sensation Sarah B hawked her chapbook like mad (she needs to finance her wine-and-baguettes-in-Paris habit) and filled in the time between musical acts with her poems. Like a limerick titled "My Encounter with the Man from Nantucket." Or her ode to "Beer," which detailed the various ways she imbibes that beverage ("with red meat/not on the street"). She read that ditty twice because Justin, to whom the poem was dedicated, showed up late. Sarah B, who's starting NYU next year and really really really deires a cute punk boyfriend, said she appreciated the fake applause from the crowd. Later there was a fake raffle "won" by Harry Krishna.

Rachel Cleary was both funny and interesting as she told some politically charged stories.

The versatile Rosie B. highlighted her many bra inventions in a frenetic routine. But first she needed to remove the scarfs from her bosom. It reminded us of a scene in "Alien."

We were recruited to hold some art paper (we do teach at the School of Visual Arts, after all) while Rosie Rebel poured red, yellow and blue paint on it. Then she started using one of her bra inventions. But we think Mary Cassatt patented something like this like a century ago.

Breast paintbrushes + apple = driving heterosexual men wild. OK, wilder. (As we were leaving the park later, some NYU frat boy-type was telling a long story with the final line, "So in the morning I bagged her." Where are alpha women when you need them?) We can't remember if this pic was taken when Rosie Rebel was on roller skates.

This was so hot. The "Bloomberg - Worst Mayor Ever" sign was a big turn-on, even though it saddens us that no one remembers William O'Dwyer anymore.

Rosie Rebel's invention for the harried homemaker who needs serve citrus juice to her family. While on roller skates. This got a bit sticky but was also hot. Also clever. Rosie and her numerous inventions are keeping the Patent Office up late at nights. Well, one worker there, anyway.

Here Rosie is showing off a set of terrific guns. And bubbles come out! Lawrence Welk would have killed for this.

And she can ride a non-mechanical bull too. What an alpha woman! Go, Rosie Rebel! A great performance loved by all, including Rosie's mom and dad. Who wouldn't be proud of a daughter so versatile?

The co-hosts Our Lady of Perpetual PMS and Killer Killy handled their emcee chores adeptly, introducing acts with aplomb. Also, at one point, with a plum. In addition, they debated the merits of armpit-shaving.

Jennifer Blowdryer read her work, sang a little, and observed that a year ago all the girls were wearing Faster! Faster! Pussycat! T-shirts and now it's all tuxedo hot pants and bondage boots. Either way, East Village girls are hot. She read a poem, "She's Hot." When a girl, like us, started taking pics of the crowd, Jennifer Blowdryer asked her, "Are you a little Diane Arbus Jr. or what?"

Another Jennifer Blowdryer classic was a poem in the voice of a male lawyer she met in a bar who went on and on about some court case. The audience ate it up. Fortunately, before she had finished.

Jennifer Blowdryer's performance spurred us to contribute to the tip box so the performer can maybe take their instruments home in a taxi or so Sarah B can buy some baguettes and wine in Paris. It was at this point we realized both co-hosts were wearing polka-dot outfits. Also, it gave us a chance to reflect on Rosie Rebel's boobie bubbles (her term, kids).

This alpha woman was a man, Jim, who was German and had actually flown in from Berlin. Well, maybe not just for this event, but he's here only for a limited time, so it was a rare treat for us North Americans to see him perform. As Neoangin, he's a electronics-gone-mad-art one-man band. He did the painting in the back too. It fell down a couple of times, but that's show biz.

Here Neoangin (Jim) is performing his song "The Happy Hobo" maybe, who lives a more pleasant life than "people who sit at computers."

Maybe this is him singing "I Didn't Want to Make All These Friends," about the perils of social networking, a song in which the title is repeated about 46 times with minor variations. Sort of like reading Facebook updates.

Neoangin had many haunting lyrics, like this from "I'd Like to Be Somebody Else": "I'd like to fuck someone/I've never fucked before." His autobiographical "A Friendly Dog in an Unfriendly World" was touching, and his song about Berlin surprisingly informed all of us that the German capital (sorry, Bonn) is not a 24/7 party town.

These people are stars! And the mom taking the pic is famous, too.

If you haven't heard Rachel Trachtenberg, singing and playing her ukelele, alone or with the OMG Girls, here she is with Syd Barrett's "Bike." Enjoy!

And here they are with Kate Nash doing "Brand New Key":

A table for The Shadow, "NYC's ONLY Underground Newspaper (since 1989)!"

Who can forget The Shadow's classic headline:

The crowd grew to several hundred, a very varied group. Some teen boys in yarmulkes and tsitsis were ogling the Oh My God Girls. Or maybe Tina PiƱa Trachtenburg.

Our Lady of Perpetual PMS laments the expenses engendered by needing an endless supply of fake blood. Did you know that premenstrual syndrome was actually a hindrance, not an edge, in the wrestling ring?

A serious moment about a serious subject: sexual assault among college students. Jerin Alam of the Young Feminist Task Force discusses the proposed CUNY sexual assault policy that students at the city university are trying to implement. One out of four women and one out of six men are sexually assaulted in colleges nationwide. For information and help, go to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network or call 800-621-HOPE.

At this point the sleeve of our Brooklyn College T-shirt was being tugged on by a companion with shpilkes, reminding us we were due elsewhere. But we wanted to stay to see Jessica Delfino. She went to art school so she can wear whatever she wants. Sometimes called "a dirty folk singer," Jessica told the audience that perhaps this would be a good time to take little kids to get ice cream. Most of the parents in the crowd stood their ground, an encouraging sign that they were contributing to their children's growth as human beings.

We love her "Lullaby" and were glad to see her perform it.:

Children should learn about disappointment and frutration and boredom every night, if you ask us. Jessica's friend made her guitar out of garbage. Here she sings a poem she wrote on a beautiful day in this very park, totally conducive to her sitting on a bench, relaxing and writing songs about how much she hates everybody. Maybe before Jessica goes on tour, she would enjoy our new book from Canarsie House publishers, I Hate All of You on This L Train.

We had to leave Tompkins Square Park and Alpha Women Attack the Lower East Side with regret - it was a wonderful event we're grateful for - and we also left with Jessica Delfino's "A Message to All Men" ringing in our ears, reminding us of the important things in life:

We're sorry we missed the rest of the show and are sure it was great, too.


RachelC. said...

I think you mixed me up with Sarah B. I'm Rachel Cleary (the redhead in the picture between the two paragraphs about SarahB.

Richard said...

Sorry, you're right! (Well, obviously you can recognize yourself.) Thanks so much. My apologies.

Richard said...

I had thought that you looked too young to be Rachel. Again, sorry!

RachelC. said...

oh, flattery will get you anywhere!