The man sitting next to me at the Black Penny in the French Quarter is very tall, pencil thin, in a black T-shirt and trousers with a skull-and-cross-bones belt buckle. He leans into his Vieux Carre cocktail with his tattoo sleeves propped on the bar, his pin-striped jacket hanging under it. In New Orleans, he could be anybody—a rocker, a random tourist, just a guy. But in barely 24 hours, he’ll be headlining Jazz Fest with a jazz legend and a pop superstar: Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.
Mat Fraser as Paul the Illustrated Seal, Erika Ervin as Amazon Eve. (Michele K. Short/FX)
If you saw American Horror Story’s Halloween episode, you’re familiar with Mat Fraser, whose character said he was “tired of being called ‘seal boy.’” But Coney Island sideshow habitués are already fans of the performance stylings of Mat “Seal Boy” Fraser. Fraser has phocomelia — his mother was prescribed thalidomide while she was pregnant —resulting in foreshortened arms and no thumbs. A drummer, actor, and performance artist, he regularly hosts burlesque shows around the city, and when he’s not performing in London or shooting AHS in New Orleans, he lives on the Lower East Side with his wife, the endearingly disturbing downtown darling Julie Atlas Muz. More →
Now that the Disneyfication of New York has spread far beyond Giuliani’s Times Square cleanup, it’s nice to know there are still some corners cultivating a little bit of swerve. Like the five pillars of Islam, the movement known as hip hop began with four elements: Breaking, MCing, DJing, and graffiti.
For the next couple of days, stencil-artist innovator Logan Hicks will occupy the corner of Delancey and Suffolk Street, installing — with all necessary permissions and, hopefully, no hassle from Johnny Law — a full-size wall mural as part of the L.I.S.A. (Little Italy Street Art) Project NYC. More →
A couple of weeks ago we revealed that Williamsburg dance club Verboten was finally set to open. That Saturday night, we dropped into the massive new venue to check out the first edition of Wasabassco Burlesque, hosted by recent Seattle transplant Sydni Deveraux. More →
(Photos by Melody Mudd) Darlinda Just Darlinda (L) and Minnie Tonka (R) perform at their anniversary show.
The Schlep Sisters, the burlesque duo of Darlinda Just Darlinda and Minnie Tonka, have celebrated ten years as a team, performing what they call “the sexiest slap-‘schtick.’” Their acts lean towards the ridiculous, with unison choreography and ditzy frozen smiles often accenting music by The Barry Sisters. Themed shows take the oy-vey to the extreme, such as The Burning Bush vs. The Second Coming, which offered Jews and Christians a way to duke it out goodnaturedly about Passover vs. Easter—and featured an audience game of “Hide the Afikomen” using Tigger’s body for maximum hilarity.
Artist Doug Young was searching for a new medium when, at a flea market, he stumbled on an old painting on glass. This almost-lost technique was popular with decorative objects in the 19th century, but strangely had its heyday in the 1700s when China used it to produce Americana to sell to Americans. Cue lightbulb. More →
A burlesque tribute to a pop culture meme is de rigueur in New York, from Nerdlesque’s esoteric minutiae to the long-running David Lynch Burlesque. But Bushwick Burlesque wanted to do something different. Really different. Hence Limitless: A Marina Abramovic Tribute. More →