We welcome new blog contributor Valerie Kuehne, a Brooklyn based cellist and composer, who will write for The Deli about experimental/performence music. Valerie curates the live experimental series "The Super Coda" out of Cafe Orwell in Bushwick.
When I first moved to this city I took a Craigslist job working as an 'assistant' for The Human Carpet. This meant attending happy hour at a handful of dive bars and lesbian clubs, helping roll The Human Carpet into his carpet, standing on top of "it" for the next 2 hours, encouraging everybody within 10 ft. to do the same. The compensation was 20 bucks plus drinks. So it seems this is the fate of performance art.
But then there's Borts Minorts. Borts plays a ski. Borts dresses in a head-to-toe spandex suit that walks a distinguished line between condom and intergalactic time capsule. You kinda want to reach out and pet Borts. You want to take Borts home to meet your family. You are also vaguely afraid that Borts might eat a kitten. Clearly Borts carries the torch once ignited by Laurie Anderson and Klaus Nomi, god rest his soul. However Borts is living dissonance, and while you might see him accompanied by dancers, they are less exuberant and more scary, scantily clad or dressed in burkas depending on whatever zeitgeist he's feeling by the hour. His songs rarely span more than a minute and there is darkness. His eyes burn with a nostalgia hungering for the grit and freaks of old New York, leering behind the scenes of Taxi Driver and scarcely escaping that fated commute in The Taking of Pelham 123..
The resurrection of Borts Minorts (it's true, he started a family and briefly left the circuit) took place at Cafe Orwell, during a Super Coda show 6 months ago. Borts was summoned by Little Band of Sailors (in the picture), the brainchild of Rachel Mason, a Yale graduate whose degree was underwritten by gay porn and whose press kit is staggering. Ms. Mason's Band of Sailors includes a revolving cast of personalities and a dizzying sequence of costume changes that pay homage to as many star-struck figures and iconoclasts as will fit into a 40 minute set. (Lately Ms. Mason has been spotted dressed like Borts). In the spirit of all tortured heroines her sound pulls P.J. Harvey out of quicksand by the hair while recounting a rich tradition of witchcraft. She is soothsayer, harlequin, medicine woman, demolishing any accountability to history through terrified hysteria and incongruous outbursts. Before the resurrection, I helped her roll Borts up like a mummy. I have no idea who inherited the Human Carpet gig.
Both Borts Minorts and Rachel Mason will be featured at this years Experi-MENTAL festival at Goodbye Blue Monday, August 5-7th.