Artsy Fartsy

New Art Parade doesn't suck; Tommie Sunshine wants Revenge

Parades are boring. Once a way to inject razzle-dazzle into our dull existence, parades have turned into an endless series of corporate floats blasting bad music and featuring said company's lame employees wearing matching T-shirts and waving to the crowd like we care.

I have a solution. Just let Jeffrey Deitch run all the city's parades. Gay Pride, St. Patrick's Day—give him Thanksgiving too. If all parades were like the first ever Deitch Projects' Art Parade on September 10, instead of stupid blow-ups of Garfield you'd get the Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black, singing live on her Tarantula Mobile. Or you'd get a cartoonish car bouncing around in the sky, called No One Rides for Free, designed by artist Steve Powers.The Dazzle Dancers, shiny and glittery (and wearing some clothing, so as not to frighten the adults), would march alongside Jeremiah Clancy, Vanessa Walters, and Alexia Stamatiou's JVA Flag Corporation, a "cheerleading" squad wearing little white shorts and shirts with a bunny rabbit donning a beret on the front (Art Translation: prolific ideas) and a glowing lightbulb on the back (AT: illumination).

It was so visually arresting I felt high. (Ahem.) It didn't help when Amber Ray and her hubby Muffinheadwaddled down the road wearing outfits made of black and white balloons and curly hats, looking like Whos from Whoville. Perfectly, they were dubbed The Conundrums. Julie Atlas Muz's Whore Cops,Little Brooklyn, Lady Ace, MsTickle, and boylesquer Tigger threatened to tie everyone up. Then two giant fluffy multicolored monsters with big teeth came bouncing along—Scissor Sisters Jake Shears and Baby Daddy guided by Ana Matronicand Heatherette's Amy Phillips. If their "hair- babies" looked like real muppets, that's 'cause they were made by Jim Henson's Creature Shop, based on Shears's sketches.

Deitch was pleased with the results. "I wanted to keep it homegrown and spontaneous," he said. "Maybe next year it will be bigger."

Post-parade on Wooster Street, Andrew Andrew hawked another one of their fashion projects: their own identical red versions of a preppy polo-type shirt that had been taken to a shooting range and blasted with bullets. Said one of the Andrews: "We were gonna do it during the parade, but you can't open fire on the street." Andrew Andrew should have a new name: Crazy Crazy!

Inside, Kehinde Wiley performed with Shaquita, backup singers, and four manservants. They were dressed in Beethoven-esque outfits (white wigs, frilly tops) and retooled modern songs as dirty, classical romps. At the end, they busted out mid-'80s dance moves to the strains of Salt-n-Pepa's "Push It." I believe they did the headache, the cabbage patch, and the Roger Rabbit. They also brought the house down. That is certain.

Before his show, a Citizens Band member, a nervous Adam Dugas(yes, Mrs. Jack White performed, as did Rain Phoenix), lamented the separation from his BF, Casey Spooner, who has been in Ibiza for three very long months, during Fischerspooner's residency at Manumission. Spooner was supposed to be the parade's grand marshal, but nabbed a weekend gig with Tommie Sunshine in Moscow.

At Scenic at Tommie's Monday party Degeneration, the usually hyper DJ was sick as hell, but stuck it out to watch the New York debut of his new favorite band, L.A.'s She Wants Revenge, who sound so much like Interpol I half expected Carlos D. to appear in a plume of white smoke. But SWR are more Joy Division than Interpol supposedly are—in the dance-rock spectrum, they fall closer to dance. When everyone else was about to fall down drunk, Sunshine held the wall and did the least rock 'n' roll thing I've seen in a club (or the most): He pulled out a packet of Alka-Seltzer and popped it in his water.


tromano@villagevoice.com

 
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