<

BETTY – Making Their Own Rules

October 11, 2011 5:00 am0 comments

altIf you were in a band in the 1980s, your path toward fame and fortune – in other words, “success,” was fairly clear and certainly predetermined. Play a bunch of gigs in a major city until you get noticed, make a music video and sign with a major label, get on MTV, done. As simple as it seemed, the process was almost completely out of your hands and it relied on the not-necessarily-brilliant tastes of the recording industry.
Some bands made it through that traditional route; many more found themselves eaten alive by it. But a few intrepid rockers made it out alive, securing a place for themselves in the indie rock explosion without giving in to the record industry’s whims, carving out their own spot for themselves. BETTY is one such band.
“The music industry came to us. We’ve always been D.I.Y. and that’s what the music industry is now,” says Elizabeth Ziff, the band’s guitarist. “We’ve always been sort of reinventing ourselves or pushing what it means to be in a band or be in a group… We’ve never really done the ‘straight’ path,” she adds with a laugh.
BETTY (intentionally spelled with all capitals, by the way) came on the scene in the late 1980s with Ziff, her sister Amy on cello, and Alyson Palmer on bass. All three claim vocal credit and the current lineup also features Tony Salvatore on guitar and drummer Mino Gori.

Read more ›

Crazy Love: “A Mad Person’s Chronicle of a Miserable Marriage”

October 4, 2011 5:00 am0 comments

altIt’s the duality of life that makes things interesting. The good can’t exist without the bad, the beautiful without the ugly, or the sane without the insane. The rules of parallel universes or perhaps the laws of physics are the reason.  Those within the religious realm might cite God’s blessings, or an angry curse. Whatever the reason, or the cause, the most intense human emotion of love can bring bliss or despair. The marriage of Leo and Sonia Tolstoy provides an epic guide through the crazed emotions of an intense relationship, one so close that it eventually evolved into a common dysfunction, or a shared mental illness.
In playwright Sinan Ünel’s A Mad Person’s Chronicle of a Miserable Marriage, the idea of a marriage so intense, so intertwined that it becomes “a near psychotic episode” is explored in a one-person show acting out both roles of Sonia and Leo.
“It was a very dysfunctional relationship,” says Ünel. “I envision it as an internal conflict, as they are so enmeshed in each other’s minds and lives. There was nothing left to consume about each other.”

Read more ›

Q & A with Whit Smith of Hot Club of Cowtown

5:00 am0 comments

By Steve Desroches It’s not often that the music of Austin, Texas, makes its way up to our region, but Payomet Performing Arts Center is capping off its season of incredible, eclectic music programming with the western swing/jazz/indie band Hot Club of Cowtown. As it turns out, this Texas trio [...]

Read more ›

Special Delivery: Poppy Champlin Comes Home to the Post Office Cabaret

5:00 am0 comments

altPoppy Champlin has a new attitude, a new address, and a new girlfriend. Things are coming up roses for Poppy.
After 15 years in Los Angeles, Champlin made the move back to her home state of Rhode Island and is finding her niche in the ever competitive field of stand-up comedy.  Ever since leaving LaLa Land she’s been touring the country both with her solo stand up show as well as her Queer Queens of Qomedy, an all-lesbian comedy revue. And this Women’s Week, Champlin is making a homecoming when she plays the Post Office Cabaret, the venue that gave her the break she needed to start her career ten years ago.
“The Post Office was the beginning for me,” says Champlin.  “I am so glad they are having me back. I’m very indebted to them. I can’t say thank you to the Post Office enough.”

Read more ›

REVIEW: Kate Clinton’s Lady HAHA CD

5:00 am0 comments

altKate Clinton had a nightmare, a terrifying nightmare.
“I had a nightmare where Ann Coulter was going down on me,” says Clinton on her Lady HAHA CD, eliciting loud groans and shrieks from the audience. “I know! I thought ‘Anything to shut her up!’”
Recorded live at the Birchmere Music Hall in Alexandria, Virginia, on the last stop of her 2010 Lady HAHA tour, Clinton’s latest CD is a pitch perfect response to the absurdities spewed forth by the Republican Party, the Vatican, Sarah Palin, and the Tea Party. Buy a copy for yourself to stay sane in this insane
   political climate and buy a copy for your conservative relatives for the holidays just to piss them off.
For almost 30 years Clinton has been a comedic liberal voice of sanity, intelligence, and thoughtfulness in a frenzied world of sound bytes and Rupert Murdoch orchestrated infotainment, a world where talentless celebrities like Kim Kardashian and the anything-but-real housewives of bland wealthy suburbs get more media attention than genocide in Darfur and global warming. It’s enough to make you cry if Clinton didn’t first make you laugh.

Read more ›

Good Golly Miss Molly!

5:00 am0 comments

altMolly Dykeman has the mind of a child genius, the mouth of a moron, and a haircut that looks like Chewbacca got a perm.  And she just may be the smartest person in the room.
Dykeman is a poet and an unlicensed security guard at P.S. 339 in Brooklyn. In between snacking on chicken fingers, avoiding work, and chasing the ladies, Dykeman hops on the subway from her Bay Ridge home to downtown Manhattan to perform her unique form of burlesque poetry for adoring fans blinded by both her sublime use of words and her fluorescent orange safety vest.
While the spirit of Molly is based in people we probably all know, she is a character created by actress and comedian Andrea Alton, who will bring Ms. Dykeman to Provincetown as part of the Bulldyke Chronicles, an evening of edgy and hip lesbian burlesque and comedy at the Art House hosted by downtown New York legend Shelly Mars.  This one-night-only show features characters and acts from Mars, as well as surprise guests, and a special featured spotlight for Molly Dykeman. An evening with Molly is a hilariously compelling night of poetry and performance from a woman with sharp insights dulled by Percocet, cheap beer, and a lazy eye.
Alton enjoyed a sold-out run of her show The F*cking World According to Molly at the New York International Fringe Festival in August, garnering rave reviews.  While Alton has performed in Provincetown before, this marks the debut for Molly.

Read more ›

REVIEW: Body Awareness

September 29, 2011 3:16 pm0 comments

Anyone who was around in the early 1990s will remember the spread of militant political correctness across college campuses. Antioch College famously codified “sexually correct” rules for its student daters around that time (“May I please touch your breast now?”) and the alarmist rantings of Andrea Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon plagued the minds of young women, making it a wonder that any healthy heterosexual relationships blossomed during that time at all.
    Though set in the present day, Annie Baker’s play Body Awareness explores the complexities of body politics, feminism, and gender relations that are still contentious issues, particularly in academic circles. Set in the fictional town of Shirley, Vermont, the play works with these issues through a nontraditional family consisting of psychology professor Phyllis (D’Arcy Dersham), her live-in partner Joyce (McNeely Myers), who is a high-school cultural studies teacher, and Joyce’s son, Jared (Alex Pollock). The play begins with Phyllis announcing the start of Body Awareness Week – a week long event she has created ostensibly to help students (female students, it is implied) become more comfortable in their own skin. But when one of the invited guests for the event turns out to be a white male photographer specializing in images of naked women, Phyllis is mortified.

Read more ›

Team Provincetown, Team P’Town

3:08 pm0 comments

Identity in Provincetown has become such a monumental force that it is worthy of an anthropological study of tribalism. Or it would be a great subject for ridicule. It all depends on what team you’re on. Artist Brian Einersen’s new book P-town Humor features cartoon drawings with a sly sense of humor about some of the more absurd aspects of life in Provincetown, particularly the strong opinions that can plant people firmly in opposing camps.
With a deep interest in pop culture, Einersen tapped into a faux rivalry created by the media as inspiration for the book, which features t-shirts declaring dueling devotions to Provincetown institutions, characters, and locales.
“Back when Brad Pitt left Jennifer Aniston for Angelina Jolie someone created t-shirts saying ‘Team Aniston’ and ‘Team Jolie’,” says Einersen. “The media pits those two against each other. In town there are not so much rivalries, but so many categories, like Team Sunburn and Team Sun Tan. There always seems to be two of everything in Provincetown.”

Read more ›

The Ballad of Larry Beau

September 28, 2011 2:58 pm0 comments

There is a certain magnetism to Provincetown that deeply pulls at those looking for a new life, to create without restraint, or to simply rest at the end of the road after a long and hard journey. It’s that energy that has drawn thousands of artists and writers to town, and perhaps it is that same force that blew the Pilgrims off course from their intended destination near the mouth of the Hudson River, bringing the Mayflower to what is now Provincetown Harbor.
It was aboard the Mayflower in Provincetown Harbor on November 20, 1620, that Susanna White gave birth to a baby boy, the first child born to the Pilgrims in the “New World.” She named him Peregrine, a name that means “one who journeys to foreign lands” or “wanderer.” It is then indeed appropriate that it’s here in Provincetown that Declan Burke was introduced to Peregrine White, at least the memory of him some 400 years later. Both wanderers, both destined to become part of the mythologically tinged fabric of Provincetown.

Read more ›

Around the World in Seven Days

2:45 pm0 comments

 Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman once said, “ No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.” The power of the cinema is not restricted to the feature-length films that dominate movie theater screens across the country. The often-neglected cousin of the feature film is the short, but this week, Outer Cape audiences have the opportunity to celebrate short form films of nearly every genre at a satellite screening of the New York-based Manhattan Short Film Festival.
“It’s everyone’s party around the world,” according to Festival director Nicholas Mason. Indeed, not only are the ten films to be shown representative of numerous countries (Canada, U.S., Scotland, Hungary, Egypt, Switzerland, Peru, Sweden, and Australia), but one of these films will be named the winner of the Manhattan Short Film Festival competition, based on the votes of audiences in over 200 cities spanning six continents, within the space of this week only.
Mason says it is particularly valuable to have “regular” people vote for the winning film because when filmmakers and others involved in the film world judge film festivals, “they tend to like the films they were involved with.”

Read more ›