GIRLYMAN! (Or, How Liz Got Her Boobs Signed By a Whole Band)

Me, Liz, and Adam @ the Highline Ballroom.  How HOT are we?!

Me, Liz, and Adam @ the Highline Ballroom. How HOT are we?!

Posted by TERESA

Sorry I am SO far behind on this.  Livin’ ain’t easy – especially when you’re trying to live as much as I am! – and it’s hard to find the time to blog sometimes.  Anyway, Teresa the Celebutante Week continued on June 4th with TWO celebrity events in one evening.

No, there were no drag queens at her birthday party.

No, there were no drag queens at her birthday party.

Through a work connection, I was invited to Dr. Ruth Westheimer’s 81st birthday party!  Yes.  THAT Dr. Ruth.  🙂  It was not only a birthday party, but a book party and a screening of a new documentary she helped produce called Shifting Sands: Bedouin Women at the Crossroads.  Ruth is so full of energy and constantly buzzing around, so I could barely get “Happy Birthday!” out of my mouth before she’d moved on to the next group of minglers.  She’s kind of perfected the art of being a social butterfly!  The party itself was interesting.  It was held at the National Arts Club in NYC, a very old, very posh club on Gramercy Park South.  As I am not very old, OR very posh, it was strange to be mingling there.  There were few people anywhere near my age, and everyone – young and old alike – seemed to have much more money than me.  I spent much of the party standing in corners and drinking wine.  Eventually, I met up with a woman named Imbal that I’d met before who is friends with Ruth, close to my age, and a cellist.  We sort of latched onto each other for dear life once I reintroduced myself and navigated the party together a bit before the scheduled screening of the Shifting Sands documentary, which was pretty great.  Check it out on PBS.  (plug!)

Dr. Ruth’s party, while very nice, was really only a way to kill time until the real event of the evening – GIRLYMAN AT THE HIGHLINE BALLROOM!  Sadly, I missed the opening act, but I met Liz and Adam there just in time for the main event.

Now here is where I’ll tell you that Girlyman officially falls into The Commune Recommends territory in that 3 out of the 5 members of the house are huge fans.  Liz, Adam and I have seen them just about every time they’ve been in New York in the past two and a half years.  They are amazing musicians and vocalists, and their songs are beautiful and expressive.  Also they have some of the most fun on-stage banter ever.  Personally, my favorite album of theirs is Joyful Sign, although all of their stuff is great – and they have a NEW ALBUM COMING OUT!  Get thee to www.girlyman.com for more info! (another plug!)

Me and Doris Muramatsu of Girlyman.  She's the "Cute One!"

Me and Doris Muramatsu of Girlyman. She's the "Cute One!"

Me and Ty Greenstein of Girlyman.  She's the "Serious One!"

Me and Ty Greenstein of Girlyman. She's the "Serious One!"

But this evening wasn’t just about listening to the purdy music.  We met the band for the first time!  We felt kind of bad about doing it, because we weren’t buying anything to have signed.  However, we each already HAVE everything they had available for signing, so we didn’t feel that bad.  I’d brought my sketchbook again, and I asked each of the band members to sign a Girlyman page.  Doris was an absolute sweetheart, and very funny.  Ty was also really nice, though she seemed a bit tired.  Nate was awesome, and we actually had a nice conversation about, among other things, Amanda Palmer, as I told him I was going to see her there the very next night.  He’d heard of her and The Dresden Dolls, but hadn’t listened to much of her stuff, so I recommended it.   

Me and Nate Borofsky of Girlyman.  He's "The One With a Penis!"

Me and Nate Borofsky of Girlyman. He's "The One With a Penis!"

Adam just shook everyone’s hand and expressed his admiration in his typically understated, Midwestern way.  The funniest HAD to be Liz. She, almost jokingly, asked Doris to sign her boobs.  Doris, the straight one, got REALLY excited about it, funnily enough, and shouted to her bandmates, “Hey guys!  We’ve got a boob signing over here!”  Check out the excitement on her face:

I don't know who's happier about this - Doris, or Liz!

I don't know who's happier about this - Doris, or Liz!

And then there was the moment When Liz Met Ty.  Let me explain something to you.  Liz likes Ty.  A LOT.  Liz likes Ty in her secret, naughty places.  Liz was severely restraining herself so as not to JUMP Ty, and as Ty signed her chest, their exchange went something like this:

Ty: Hey, nice to meet you!

Liz: NNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGEEEEHHHHHHHHH….

Ty: Signing breasts, are we?  What’s your name?

Liz: LLLLDDNNNDNNNNNEDEEEDGGGGHHHH….

Ty: There you go!

Liz: *bouncy* *bouncy* *bouncy*

And that was that.  We’d met one of our favorite bands and rode that high all the way home.  Actually, Liz bounced home on big, horny cloud.

The Finished Product

The Finished Product

I might as well have set up a cot at the Highline Ballroom after that, because I’d be going there again the following night to see Amanda Palmer.  Details to come…

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Published in: on July 1, 2009 at 10:19 PM  Comments (2)  
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Housing Works (as does Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer!)

Photo by Kathryn Yu

Photo by Kathryn Yu

Posted by TERESA

Teresa the Celebutante Week continued on Wednesday, June 3rd at SPIN magazine’s benefit for Housing Works Bookstore in SoHo NYC, featuring Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer.

One of the things I love most about events involving my favorite artists is the standing in line.  I know, that’s supposed to be my least favorite part.  But I love striking up conversations with strangers, because I know that there are at least some things we have in common (we like the same author/musician/actor/artist after all), and chances are good that there’ll be a lot more.  Before the crowd was allowed to enter the bookstore, I got to talking with one of the writers I follow on Twitter, Chelsea Summers, and a lovely friend of hers, two young female friends who’d come all the way from Denver and Pittsburgh because they are huge AFP fans (one of them had won 2 VIP tickets in a Housing Works online auction), and one adorable scientist dude who is a huge Neil Gaiman fan.  (too bad he was married.  I would’ve totes flirted more had he not been)  The conversation was a lot of fun, and included comparisons of microscopes, best routes to Michigan, and AFP sex gossip! (I won’t say who had that info)

However, there are two kinds of people you can meet at events like these.  Cool people who are interesting to talk to, like the folks above….and people who are so wrapped up in what THEY like that they have no time or patience for anyone who won’t allow them go on ad nauseum about it.  Case in point: red-head standing next to me once I got into the store and had found a place in the crowd in which to stand.  I thought she seemed nice at first, which is why I struck up conversation in the first place, but she became obnoxious really quickly.  We got to the point in our chat where we discussed whether we were NG fans, AFP fans, or both.  She went on and on about how she was an AFP fan and proceeded to list the entirety of concerts and events she’d attended and what happened at each.  Then, when I started to talk about how I was a Neil Gaiman fan first and came to AFP’s music through him, telling her about Sandman/American Gods/etc, she cut me off by saying “Yeah, I really really don’t care about him.”  Um, thanks.  Apparently, you don’t care about listening to me either.

It reminded me of when I went to see Alanis Morrisette and Tori Amos in concert at Jones Beach years ago.  I was a fan of both, but I was more excited to see Morrisette because I was more familiar with her stuff.  The Tori fans eyed the Morrisette fans as if they were an abomination (you could pick them out in their military fatigues, dark spiky hair, tattoos, Goth skirts.  The Morrisette fans were mostly in Indian-inspired fashions, or broomstick skirts and had henna tattoos), and then after Tori performed left before Alanis started.  I never understood that mentality – loving your favorite artist at the expense of all others.  Everyone has favorites, but does that mean you never expose yourself to anyone else’s work ever again?  Crazy.  What I love about any art form is that if you follow it or the artist closely enough, it will lead you to other interesting things….but I digress.

Obnoxious redhead aside, the vibe in the room was great.  Moby was there so, you know, that was intersting.  And of course Kyle Cassidy, photographer extraordinaire who photographed much of the Who Killed Amanda Palmer book NG and AFP were there promoting, was there. Although, how HUGE a nerd am I that I got all giddy and excited when I saw that Merrilee Heifetz was there? 

Me: OMG, Merrilee Heifetz is here! 

Obnoxious Redhead: Who? 

Me: She’s like this huge literary agentohnevermind…

Photo by Kathryn Yu

Photo by Kathryn Yu

The event itself was amazing.  I’d never heard AFP perform before, and she totally won me over.  As I told her later, she plays with a passion that I love, as if she’s attacking the piano.  She is an artist that I definitely appreciate more live.  Her recordings are great, but they’re merely placeholders between live gigs as far as I’m concerned.  She played a Dresden Dolls songs that I fell in love with, called “Perfect Fit”, and a solo song called “Dear Old House That I Grew Up In” , both of which I related to in surprising ways and almost made me cry.  She ended with a cover of a Tegan and Sara song called “Dark Come Soon”, which was lovely and also made me want to investigate Tegan and Sara stuff more.

Photo by Kathryn Yu

Photo by Kathryn Yu

Alternating with her was Neil Gaiman, who read some great stories from the WKAP book.  I could listen to that man read the phone book.  The highlight, however, was when he graced us with an awesome story he’d never made public before, about a guy who’s making a living as a living statue, falls in love with a passerby, and stalks her, ending up very very still in her apartment.  It was SO CREEPY!  Loved it, and can’t wait for it to end up in a collection somewhere.

After the performances/readings, we were treated to a very enjoyable session of “Ask Amanda/Neil” in which Amanda and Neil asked each other questions submitted in advance by the audience.  It was during this Very Special Q&A that Neil announced that they are dating.  A fan asked “So Neil, when are you going to admit that you’re dating Amanda Palmer already?”  Amanda chose that because she wanted to “see what [he’d] say.”  He smiled sheepishly, looked to Amanda for approval, and when it was clear that she had no problem with making an announcement said “We’ve been dating for months, actually.”  The crowd cheered!  Mostly because it’s been so OBVIOUS to so many of us for so long that we were simply relieved that we could talk about it openly without seeming like we were just speculating or spreading rumors.

Because clearly, what was important about this revelation was giving the fans the ability to gossip freely and with clear consciences.  Heh.

There was also the auction of one of the only copies of WKAP available in this country (Neil’s reading copy with his notes in it, PLUS doodles in it by the creators, PLUS additional copies of naked AFP photos) that went to one very generous gentleman for $1300, which all went to Housing Works.  And then, of course, there was the long-ass line to get things signed.  It wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected, given the lines I’m used to standing in for Neil Gaiman.  I spoke with Kyle Cassidy and Beth Hommel (AFP’s assistant), both of whom shot photos for the WKAP book, before getting into line, and I asked them to sign a page in my sketchbook that I would then get signed by AFP and NG and put into my pre-purchased copy of the book when I get it next month.  They were both so sweet!  Really good people.

Got to Amanda Palmer and told her that I was a new fan, and she was very nice.  When she signed the page in my sketchbook, she scrawled her greeting and name AAAAAALL over the rest of the blank page, leaving no real room for everyone else…Got to Neil, and I told him that, while I’d met him several times before, I’d never gotten a picture with him, and I asked if he would mind taking one then.  He was extremely nice about doing it, despite my camera being stupid and not going off when it was supposed to.  This dude I’d made friends with in line behind me took it, and I finally have my photo (below).  Huzzah!  Then, instead of finding space on the page I’d told him I was putting into my copy of WKAP, he turned the page and drew me an enormous skull and crossbones made out to me and signed at the bottom.  (this is important for an upcoming entry)

Photo by Random Dresden Dolls Fan Dude Behind Me In Line

Photo by Random Dresden Dolls Fan Dude Behind Me In Line

It was a wonderful and fun evening, made more wonderful by the fact that I’d see both AFP and Neil Gaiman again later in the week!

Celebrity Rice Krispy Treats!

 

Jasika and me...and my enormous head.
Jasika and me…and my enormous head.

Posted by TERESA

The internet is an amazing thing.  It really is.  If there were no internet, I wouldn’t be a writer for PinkRaygun.com.  If I weren’t a writer there, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to interview JASIKA NICOLE (Astrid on Fringe – a Commune favorite.  Watch it!) about her acting work and her artwork (she’s a hell of an artist, and will hopefully have a lovely graphic novel-style book of it out sooner rather than later!).  If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have had reason to become her friend on Facebook (another internet wonder!), and I wouldn’t have known that a) Fringe is moving from NYC to Vancouver, which upsets me no end!  NYC was starting to get cool shows to film here, and now they’re all going away again (except for Law & Order, which will probably shoot here until human beings are extinct.  And even then, the remaining life forms on Earth will probably have their own versions of the show).  And b) that she was having an open house goodbye party, as she and her girlfriend, Claire, are moving to Vancouver with the show.  Kicking myself for not having hung out with her sooner while she was living in NYC, I asked if coming to her party would be an option, and she said “Of course!” as if I were silly for even asking. 

It was the loveliest little shindig ever.  I met Claire officially (ie: not amid the hustle and bustle of a comic con) and she’s awesome.  I also met Jasika’s friends, who were the coolest hodgepodge of artists, actors, and sweethearts I’d met in a long time.  As I approached the house and saw everyone lounging on the porch chatting (a gorgeous, Southern-style porch in Brooklyn!), I was a bit nervous.  I didn’t know anyone other than Jasika, and I don’t even really know her that well.  *gulp*  But the second she saw me, she glided down the steps trilling my name, took my hand, led me up the steps, and sang my name in introduction!  She made sure I knew everyone, gave me the grand tour, and when I sat with the collective with my awesome DART plastic cup of wine, I knew I had nothing to fear.  Everyone was so nice to this girl they didn’t know from a hole in the wall, making me feel instantly at ease.  Jasika makes a mean Rice Krispy treat, for the record, and we all spent the night chatting about everything from theater, to strange panhandler experiences, to online dating.  I made some wonderful new acquaintances (even friending some of them on Facebook.  You know.  How you do.), and had a great time throwing myself into a lake of people I’d never met before and emerging from the depths unscathed.

I really regret not hanging out with Jasika and Claire sooner, but I wish them the best in their new Canadian home.  And hey, there are always Facebook status messages!

Published in: on June 7, 2009 at 1:17 AM  Comments (2)  
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