Subdermal Mayoh, Velocity is a notable american woman a'ight

melpomene whitehead 

04.25.02 Garvey and Superpant$ in Placebo Sunrise. Well, Peter Etc. came through again with an excellent recommendation--Placebo Sunrise. It runs Thursday through Saturday (8pm, with an additional 11 pm show on Friday and Saturday) through May 18, and YOU MUST GO. Make your reservation. My tip to you? Get the $10 pit seats. Youre right at the stage, and its total PANDEMONIUM. It seems like you might get a person dropped on your head, only you dont. Also, the perspective is excellent, and you might get a drink. Its alcoholic, so remember that if youre sober.

So, what else do you need to know? This seasons Garvey and Superpant$ performance is like the Marx Brothers on acid. It seems to take place in a resort, and the two main characters, Garvey (Yehuda Duenyas) and Superpant$ (Ryan Bronz), have these ridiculous notions and conversations about ridiculous notions. Are they dead? Are they trapped? Is everyone conspiring against them? What about cats? Do they have a neocortex? Like all the best comedy duos, one, Garvey, is nervous and suspicious, and the other, Superpant$ in this case, is childlike and accepting. Think Laurel and Hardy, or Ren and Stimpy. Somehow, Garvey and Superpant$ merge classic slapstick comedy with surrealism and make it work. Additionally, theres singing and dancing. Every member is bruised. This isnt part of the play, its just because Placebo Sunrise is very physical. Theres a lot of running around and falling. The sets and the lighting are spectacular, and the actors are totally top-notch.

Placebo Sunrise is at Chashama at 125 W. 42 st. Seating is extremely limited. Call 212.726.3054 for reservations. You can also get on the standby list if you show up early the night of.

04.01.02: Ben Marcus reading from Notable America Women. I know, sounds kinda dry, right? You’re thinking, yeah, we know she passed the Jeopardy test, but now she’s getting all edumacational on our asses? Then you should maybe check out Ben at He’s, uh, wickedy wack, as the kids used to say back in the day. He’s sort of an absurdist, sort of a surrealist, sort of the kind of guy who looks so, you know, normal, and then you read this and you’re like ‘what the what the hey?’ And rightfully so. His first book, a collection of definitions fashioned into a narrative, The Age of Wire and String, was so strange and so dense it took me two weeks to read this 150 page book (that’s a long time for me). But it wasn’t a chore. It was like cycling up the side of a mountain—it’s hard but it’s so pretty and the air is nice. Notable American Women is almost more of the same, in a more traditional novel format. One might say it’s slightly more accessible. At the reading, Ben had a pantomime demonstrate some thrust positions (you know, what men do when they have sex. You remember that, right?) which one might try in moments of stress to create elation. I swear. This was after he ‘read’ from his book with a cloth in his mouth, The Marcus Cloth, which absorbs all sounds. I know, you’re thinking this sounds like the most pretentious bullshit. Maybe it is, but I like it. Marcus is an excellent writer who easily transcends the most pretentious bullshit. People talk about him like he might be the most important writer of our time, making comparisons to Lewis Carroll. Aldus Huxley, Kafka… After only two books I’d say it’s hard to tell, but he’s a bowl of Ben & Jerry’s Twisted ice cream in a world filled with vanilla.

Notable American Women ($12.50, Vintage) is a sort of futuristic mystery about a character named Ben Marcus. His father might be buried in the backyard. His mother uses him in a breeding program. A woman named Jane Dark teaches other women behavior modification to achieve stillness. It’s terribly nightmarish, but it’s one of those nightmares that when you retell it to someone, it seems stupendously funny.

03.28.02: Michael Moore reading from Stupid White MenWe were kept out of the Michael Moore reading at NYU because we were not rich college students (let me tell you something about rich college students: they’re stupid. They guy behind us on line [before we got kicked off the line—by the way, people who are not from New York don’t wait on line, they wait in line. Why? I guess New Yorkers maybe really are more aggressive. I’m not passively waiting in something for things to happen, I’m right on it, dammit!] was regaling his friends with the details of his day on the set of some cop show in which he was supposed to play a hopped-up crack addict in a crack den that was being raided. “What did you have to do?,” queried his cronies. “The director told me to lie down on a mattress and when the cop tried to pull me up I should collapse back down like I was so tired.” Excuse me???? A tired crackhead? I used to live in Park Slope, and then later on E. 12th St., and I can attest to the fact that there are no tired crackheads. Not ever. That’s why we had so much crime back then in the late 80s and early stupid white men90s. Once Giuliani brought back heroin, crime went down. Heroin addicts really are too tired.), but that won’t stop me from recommending Stupid White Men ...and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation ($24.95 HarperCollins). In case you thought we lived in a free country, here comes the latest censorship scandal: HarperCollins tried to censor Moore’s latest book. Like his previous book, Downsize This!, this one is also a serious look at difficult subjects presented in a humorous manner (rampant corruption in the US Government, racial profiling, and Enron are among the topics), but this one was on press on September 10, 2001. Half the run was printed and the rest was ready to be printed the day that thousands of people died at who knows who’s hands. A few days later HarperCollins asked Moore to rewrite huge portions of the book AND pay for the reprinting. Specifically, they wanted the sections concerning the Bush family stealing the 2000 presidential elections, and the Bush’s connections with Enron. Moore was writing about Enron’s corruption before the story broke in the major media! HarperCollins could have changed the course of history, and saved thousands of innocent Enron employees their pensions had they not been chicken-shit censors and published the book on time. Moore refused to rewrite the book, and Stupid White Men sat around for several months before the story was leaked to the trade magazine Publisher’s Weekly. Once they were publicly embarrassed, HarperCollins backed down on their anti-free speech stance and agreed to publish the book. Released in February, it became a best seller on Amazon before the book came out, from consumer pre-sales. The book is now in its 15th printing. Moore tempers the horror of what he writes about with over-the-top, irreverent humor. Everyone needs to read this book. If you can’t afford it (It’s $15 + shipping at Amazon, and 30% off at Barnes and Noble bookstores), go to the damn library and reserve a copy. If they don’t have it yet, demand that they get it. Don’t let the bad people censor us, or keep knowledge out of our hands. Get two copies if you can—you’ll want to have one to lend to your friends who think Bush is doing a good job. Visit for book tour updates and book excerpts.

Hopefully, this will tide you over until Christopher X. Brodeur’s book on the Giuliani years, Perverted Little Creep, comes out (see excerpts at

Oh, and news flash, there’s another fabulous, great, stupendous readable political book out, Ted Rall’s To Afghanistan and Back ($15.95, from Comic Lit). Rall is a cartoonist, and some crazy newspaper (the Village Voice) decided to send him off to Afghanistan along with 45 other journalists. Three journalists from this group were killed within two weeks. Thank whomever you want that we did not lose Rall, one of Ted Rall's new bookthe great satirists of our times. You may know Rall from his weekly comic carried in the Village Voice, or from his editorial cartoons that run in many many newspapers, including the New York Times, or his color strips in Time and Fortune. The advance reviews for this book are amazingly positive. Not that he doesn’t deserve the accolades, just that this is not a rah rah pro-america book. The goddam Nation said, “Rall has filed some of the best war reporting from Afghanistan by an American journalist.” CHEESUS. That’s impressive. Like Moore, Rall has no agenda other than an unswerving desire for truth and disseminating information. Ted Rall—Johnny Appleseed for the 21st century? I’m so happy there are people like Moore and Rall around to kick ass and tell things straight.

04.04.02. Triumph the Insult Comic Dog at Irving Plaza. I was trying to remember what was first show that I saw at Irving Plaza. It would have been Pig Bag on New Years’ Eve 1981-82, but we were too drunk and/or stoned to make it before the last two minutes of their last song, “Papa’s Got A Brand New Pig Bag.” So I can’t count that. It must have been one of the many many times I saw Brian Brain, Martin Atkin’s first band post-Public Image Limited. We were all surprised that Martin had a band, ‘cus we were stupid and thought Keith Levine was the talented one in PiL. Of course, Martin went on to become a huge force in alternative music, forming Invisible Records, starting the industrial supergroup Pigface, and producing the dreaded GooGoo Dolls first album. Keith Levine formed Cowboys International and faded into complete obscurity.

And here we are 20 years later. At 15, I was always on the list and treated like a little punk-rock princess, a hardcore Molly Ringwald if you will, and now I’m wondering if I can afford the $6 beer because we dropped $25 per tickets for a fuggin puppet show. I made a decision that night: I am never going back to Irving unless I am guest-listed. End o’ story. It’s totally not worth the aggro. We got there at 8 (the tickets said doors at 7:30) and there was a line around the block. Why? I have no idea. But I do know this: three separate guys checked my Keroppi lunch box.  I know at Irving they’re really not used to seeing females (the last few shows I’ve seen there: Television, Mission of Burma, and Mouse on Mars, had about a 1-to-4 female-male ratio), so maybe they were confused by the profusion of estrogen. It’s a heady pheromone! Or perhaps it's a fucking PUPPETthere had been death threats against Triumph or his handler Robert Smigel. If there weren’t, there should have been. The show SUCKED. They have no material for that puppet, they obviously had not rehearsed, the Irving staff had a difficult time with all the media (video, lights, etc. Not their fault. I’m sure that wasn’t rehearsed either). The differences between seeing Triumph on TV and in person are this—he curses, and he has no one funny to bounce off. To be fair, there were some OK moments, like the song about how he can lick his own dick. And Doug from TV Funhouse was there, unmiked for some reason. All the ‘celebrity’ guests were either currently out of work, or no one you really needed to see. Paraded out were the guy who plays Big Pussy on the Sopranos (I know people like this show, but it’s not like hip, is it? Well, it wasn’t really a hip crowd.), Kurt Loder from Mtv, two guys who do TV commercials (the Dell guy and Jared the skinny sandwich man), Weezer Babies—oh, I mean Fountains of Wayne—and Max Weinberg. BORING! There was very little laughter (does anybody remember laughter?). I had more fun at the Food Emporium after the show.  Someone made a store just for me! Well, me if I had oodles of cash and lived in a better neighborhood.

04.12.02: Braincell Genocide at Surf Reality. Mein Gott, Brer Brian wasn’t kidding when he named this moving, randomly appearing, loud anti-ffolk night Braincell Genocide. With free hooch and free snacks, the potential for mass destruction of grey matter is tremendous. Many art stars and anti-ffolks were in attendance this night, most of whom were terribly hung over the next day. Besides the free booze, there’s fabulous music—this night included my pal Hornbuckle, and Brer Brian himself. There will definitely be more of these events, but who knows how many more, as they keep having to find new homes for the night. I think there should be some coming up in June at Collective:Unconscious.

04.19.02: The Butchies at the Knitting Factory. Now the Knit is also on my shit list because the management is a bunch of cheap ass bastids who refused to put the a/c on in the main space during the very crowded Butchies show. Maybe they think girls don’t need to be comfortable? Was this a subtle form of sexism? It was so hot, and so smoky (what happened to their no smoking in the main space policy?), and the air was so stagnant that I VOMITED. This is not right. I’m no ralpher! But the Butchies are so cute and ebullient that they made me forget my pain. Their melodic story-driven punk rock, their charming uniforms, their warm and comfy stage presence, turned the Knit into a happy happy place. Visit for more Butchies fun.

But, here are my gripes: the place was packed with girls, and that’s great. I wish more women went to see live music. Where were these girls when I went to see Television? Or Mission of Burma? Or even Lesion fer cris’sake? I get the impression that certain chicks only like to support certain chick bands. And that’s bad for everyone. It means bands like the Butchies, a tight, talented band with great songs, probably get pigeonholed because they’re women, and their shows are attended by fiercely loyal women who don’t seem to be interested in music in general, only in music done by other women. I’m baffled by the self-segregation on the part of this crowd. It seems to be some sort of remnant of the riot girl days, and that's so ten years ago. wow. I'm old.

04.20.02: Le Scandal: No point in telling you even more about how great Le Scandal is—haven’t you already heard about this from like, a friendly lapdance for birthday gal Daturaeverywhere? The night I attended, birthday girl Datura from Vulgaras ( got a lap dance from entertainers Ammo and Remy. Remy lamented that the lovely and talented Datura had just gotten married, to Tibbie of the X-Possibles. A rock-n-roll girl wedding! Of course, they were married by an Elvis impersonator. Earlier in the estrogen-packed evening, Vulgarass Velocity Chyaldd did a compelling number involving guns and knives and blood that had the audience gasping. Le Scandal is not just a strip show, that’s for shit sure. Ladies, c’mon down! It’s fun for a girl and a boy. You can see Le Scandal every Saturday night around midnight at The Cutting Room, 19 West 24th street. And you can see clips from Le Scandal on Rools Like Ozzy, every Thursday night at 1:30 am ch 56. See more Velocity and the rest of jalapeno-hot rockers Vulgaras at

cumin' in May: Kings County Queens ( be celebrating the release of their new CD Wednesday, May 8 at North Six, 66 N. 6th, in Billsburg. Joining the revelry will be Cordero and the legendary Ff. Come drink, sweat, and pretend you're young again. Say hi to me, cus you know I'll be there. Fucking Ff is playing! Lesion, my favorite satanic rock band, has some shows coming up, Friday May 10 at Luxx in billsburg, 9pm, and June 14 at Arlene Grocery, late late late. See for more info.  Vulgaras (as seen on cable TV's Rools Like Ozzy!) will be at Meow Mix Monday, May 13th at 269 E. Houston, 11 pm. Remember, only women bleed. The Liquid Tapedeck (Fast Forward Flood) ( are almost finished with their CD, "Simple Pop Songs," and will be playing a free show at Chashama, 135 W. 42 st., May 15. See for schedule. Also, more Garvey and Superpant$ Placebo Sunrise performances. See above for more info.

Melpomene Whitehead writes shit for various publications and writes and edits You can read past subdermals at email her at