Something New Presents: Dress up//Get Down, Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Drom, Ave A between 5th and 6th, Manhattan
Hosted by The Lowbrow Society of the Arts + Something New
by Sarah Nakano
Before entering the doors of Something New’s “Dress up //Get down,” I had little to no idea what to expect. I had been told that it was “more than an art show, more than a party,” and “not a fashion show, a show about fashion.” What does that even mean? I don’t know. I guess in my head I pictured some kind of art-music-fashion-queer culture-dance-glitter fusion; people would be running around and things would be flying around in the air above me and there would be models drinking champagne + painting at the same time, etc. etc.
In retrospect, my expectation of the multidisciplinary event was mostly correct. The event was hosted by Leo Gugu Geaux and it featured burlesque, cabaret, readings about fashion, several pop-up jewelry shops featuring local designers, and several musical performances. For the most part, it was a sequential experience. In other words, it was one performer and one activity at a time (not everything simultaneously like I had expected). My personal favorite performer of the night was Joseph Keckler, Michigan-born musician, performer, and writer, now living in New York City. He performed an incredibly dramatic and humorous tale (in Italian, through opera) about a bad acid trip. It was excellent. I laughed so hard I literally cried. I would like him to narrate my life, via Italian opera.
Also memorable was Mykki Blanco‘s time on stage, the last performance of the night. I saw her perform a few months back at Public Assembly in Brooklyn as part of New Wilderness. Unfortunately she did not wear her glamorous Everlast sweats to this event as she did to Public Assembly. However, her act was of equally good quality. Mykki Blanco (a.k.a. Michael David Quattlebaum Jr, age 24) describes herself as “HIP HOP’S WORST NIGHTMARE.” My buddy A.J. described her as the “Queer Nicki Minaj.” I describe the experience as “I don’t really know what’s happening but I think I like it.” Before her performance Mykki, who identifies as a “transvestite performer,” talked about how she appreciated performing in front of such a supportive and gay crowd.
On March 30, 2012, Mykki embarked on her West Coast tour. You can read more about Mykki Blanco in Carrie Battan’s great article on NYC’s Queer Rap here! Additionally you can find Joseph Keckler’s site here and follow Mykki Blanco on Twitter here.