“A city can’t be too small. Size guarantees anonymity—if you make an embarrassing mistake in a large city, and it’s not on the cover of the Post, you can probably try again. The generous attitude towards failure that big cities afford is invaluable—it’s how things get created. In a small town everyone knows about your failures, so you are more careful about what you might attempt.” – David Byrne
What surprised me most about the Tiger Lillies show is how gorgeous it was. I was expecting raucous suicide songs, but instead found their show delightful fun, but also rather haunting, as if they were playing the full weight of their twenty years together with every note. The Moore Theater is awfully pretty, which helped, but it really was something in their timbre, a sweetness that ached, sugar in a tooth during the best french kiss you’ll ever remember on the birthday you decide you finally feel old. It was blood shivering. Their best trick was to have the audience laugh to the worst, most terrible things, then to mock the laughter with more of the same. I’ve never heard such dark subject matter vivisected with so much whimsical mirth. It shone a light upon the heart, even as they sang like a house on fire, all bizarre theatrics and kicking kittens down stairs, with voices like elegant flashing sirens.
The after party wasn’t half bad either, a mad robot-themed dance review at the Can Can underground cabaret bar, (delicious food, crazy entertainment), involving two astonishingly limber girls and some not too terrible young men gyrating two feet in front of our front row table, then a set by The Bad Things, a band I crashed with once in a Bellingham squat with the Dandelion Junk Queens. (Because the world really can be that small sometimes). Most memorable, after Rainbow, the intense spinning-from-a-chandelier awe inspiring blond girl who looked uncannily like Sara, was the bachelorette unicorn lap-dance. Sounds unlikely, I know, but it was quite the experience. He whinnied, he pawed, he wore embarrassing sunglasses that matched his skintight bodysuit. It was beyond pretty great. It was, in fact, fantastic.
The next day, Saturday, was Seacompression, a Seattle burner party held in a repurposed military hanger. Burner parties are much the same wherever you go, a fun fur collision of invention, wacky art, fire sculpture, dance, music, costumes, and people hanging from the ceiling, sometimes with no clothes on. It was a good time, with good people. We drove over with Robin and Rafael, to find Frank and Claire were there, and Adam and Anna, as well as Craig, Richard, Jordan, and Stephanie, though with the crowd, it was rare to run into people more than twice. Most of everyone we found wandering around, except for Jordan, who was hanging out in the white geodesic dome full of pillows, watching as people were locked into a spinning globe machine by crystal tipped metal arms.
To give you an idea of what it was like, around front was a hacked bus with a fire sculpture on the roof, a hot-rod with a BBQ instead of a trunk, the giant flaming metal hand Tobasco and his crew made, and a pumpkin death pachinko machine. Inside, to the right of the entrance, was a photo booth and a small movie theater (complete with Marquee), and the white chill-out dome. To the left, some couches, the Wheel Of Judgment, a hammock garden, and the hall that led to the main dancefloor, a large room with a raised area in the middle made of cages. Past those, in the main space, were two bouncy ropes hanging from the ceiling, various girls dangling from the ends, tied in by experts, and a performance space behind another bus, where fire dancers were spinning fire and live music played. Mostly we wandered, content to mingle in the madness, though we danced to the EQLateral String Trio and submit ourselves to the Wheel of Judgment. (Tony got a ticket for being “too fury”. We think they meant “too furry”.) We didn’t stay to the end, exhaustion and a desire to be curled up naked won over, but it was a lovely party.
To top it off, we bought a strand of electric pussy-willows yesterday. Plugged in, they look like the future colliding with magic.
There are no easy words for how blessed I feel to have such lovely adventures in my life. Also, I had the Tiger Lillies sign my decolletage. Pictures soon.