Thursday, April 2, 2009

Last night Mark and I went to see a performance by Lynnee Breedlove, singer from the punk band Tribe8, hosted by Queer Spraoi, a group associated with Seomra Spraoi. The description read, "Lynn Breedlove, frontperson of punk dyke band Tribe8, creator of the novel, short film, and audiobook, Godspeed, brings his One Freak Show to the Dublin, sharp as a new chainsaw blade, turning the specific universal, and making gender politics fun at last. Lynnee Breedlove’s ONE FREAK SHOW is queer, punkrock standup comedy on bodies and "community." His plan for world peace includes gender nesting dolls, cross-dressing stuffed animals, and a new edition of Our Bodies Ourselves for men. A human body quest for compassion, an irreverent look at the interior world of The Other, giving out permission slips to laugh at ourselves, Lynnee Breedlove’s One Freak Show brings activism and laughs through the usual ridiculous antics, this time including eggbeaters and duct tape. Knives and body parts are still part of the show."

The venue, called The Shed, was located down this spooky abandoned-looking industrial alley way -- the sort of place you might be taken to get the crap kicked out of you. But luckily it was well-lit. The space was marked only by a flier on the door, and you had to knock to get in. We brought our bikes inside with us, which was good because there wasn't really a good place to lock them up within a two-block radius of that neighborhood. The Shed is really a warehouse space. When you walk in, there's a little kitchen area to the left, and one of those outdoor screened gazebos, to give you an idea of how large the place is, the outdoor gazebo doesn't even take up a quarter of the indoor space of The Shed. It seemed to be the smoking area. There was a loft up above with several dead-looking computers, and an area with drum kits, guitars and amps below. several lines of chairs had been set up in front of a projection screen for a viewing of the documentary about the band Tribe8. While the movie was on, the kitchen served vegan stew and dessert. We didn't have the entree, but we bought the cupcakes and the brownies, and I have to say that it may have been the best cupcake I've ever eaten in my entire life. Mark had two!

I think Lynnee was used to performing to a large, adoring (American) audience rather than this small, reserved, and rather sober Irish one. The first few jokes fell a little flat and he even said something like, "You know, it's ok to laugh," which I think may be stand-up suicide, but eventually he hit upon a joke that got a laugh, and things did improve. But not all of the jokes translated culturally, and I think there was a little bit of explaining going on to the un-initiated in American ways. There were a couple of cringey moments where he seemed to imply that Ireland was part of the UK, which Americans can do, not realizing that it is a culturally important distinction for citizens of the Irish Republic. (Or maybe I'm just sensitive to this issue, living with a student of post-colonial theory!) Overall, the show was very entertaining -- I mean how can you not be entertained by watching a woman urinate while standing on stage, I ask you? Right now my family is reading this, horrified. That's performance art, folks!

Here are some shots of the performance:

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