Mu Mu

Punk rock bondage cheerleading vocalist inspires the love

I love MU. Say it. It feels good. Mu Mu Mu. I love both the lady Mu, MUTSUMI KANAMORI, and the band Mu, which is her and her producer-hubby MAURICE FULTON. I love how Mu dresses—like a punk rock bondage cheer-leader. Today she's wearing a skull 'n' crossbones T-shirt, fishnet stockings, knee-high boots, and braided pigtails with red ribbons threaded through. I love her stomping and dancing and posing and shrieking.

I especially love it when she tries to do gymnastics. At P.S.1's Warm Up on July 23, she tried a back bend and succeeded. Later, she attempted a cartwheel and didn't. Then, she tried again. And again. And finally she kicked herself over. I looked over at Fulton, who was manning the turntables, and he was smiling and laughing at his wife's onstage antics. Most people in the crowd seemed to love Mu, even though they are used to uninterrupted house music (provided earlier by DARSHAN JESRANI of Metro Area and TIM SWEENEY).

I'd never met Mu before, but when I interviewed her I wanted to be her new best friend. We are the same size and roughly the same age. (OK, so I'm older and shorter. Bah.) I want my own patented Mu to take around whenever I feel sad. Can we clone Mu?

Mu: Not cowed by the attention
Photograph by Tricia Romano
Mu: Not cowed by the attention

I asked her about PARIS HILTON, about whom they have a song. "Yes, I like her," she says without a trace of irony. "She's really sexy, and cute, and funny. I've been a big fan of hers for a long time. Before the sex tape!"

Her unbridled buoyant energy clearly inspires her performances and music—even though her song titles seem more antagonistic (one's called "Haters") than optimistic. She and her husband have an unusual way of recording that seems to work. "I just write. Maurice, he does the music, and when he calls me, I go to the studio and then do the vocals. He always has all the ideas, everything in his head. He tells me what to do, this kind of vocal style. Be a chicken." She squawks, giving a quick demonstration.

I read what New Yorker writer SASHA FRERE-JONES posted on his blog: "If you have a club and you are unsure who to book, book Mu. When Mu is done performing, book Mu again. Repeat until GRACE JONES shows up. And then book Mu again." Mu glows. "Really? That's so nice." She bows. "Thank you."

Mu hails from a small Japanese village, and so came to pop music belatedly. She's serious when she says in her song to "Stop Bothering MICHAEL JACKSON." Her first record was a Jackson album. "It was Bad. My hometown didn't have any foreign music. I think I was late." But it's really never too late if bad Michael Jackson was able to give us Mu.

JASON DRUMMOND, known to many as DJ SPUN, along with music director LOKKE HIGHSTEIN, is the man responsible for bringing Mu to P.S.1. He's been helping with the booking there for the last four years, and in addition to Mu, he's had an amazing lineup of talent, including HANS-PETER LINDSTROM and PRINS THOMAS, SAL PRINCIPATO, and MONOLAKE.

"We kind of take the attitude that the curators here take, where we're gonna have well-known and established artists, and lesser-known artists that people should really know about," says Spun. Maybe Mu's one of those acts that people should know about but won't unless someone presents them on a platter. Spun's got ample opportunity, with 4,000 (or more) people coming to the industrial beach each weekend.

Since he's had so many of the greats (DERRICK MAY, STACEY PULLEN, JUAN ATKINS), I asked him who he wants to book that he hasn't already. It took a while, but only because he's covered the bases pretty well. Finally, he settled on DAVID MANCUSO and the IDJUT BOYS. And, he should take SFJ's advice and book Mu again. And again. And again. And then you, if you don't already, will love Mu too.

 
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