Ten Cabaret Performers You Need To See

Thanks, Time Out New York! See the article here.

Ten cabaret performers you need to see

Here are ten unique nightclub artists who will move you, shock you and knock you for a loop.

Bridget Everett
When Hurricane Bridget hits the stage at Joe’s Pub or elsewhere, prepare to be blown away. She comes on like a warrior: fearless and unabashedly sizable, with a classic-rock voice that punches equally powerfully through contemporary pop, ’70s favorites and her own ultra-raunchy originals. But it’s Everett’s vulnerability—the damaged, oversharing regular gal that emerges from her hilariously wounded stories—that makes her so astonishing. Give her a microphone and a bottle of Chardonnay, and there’s nothing she can’t or won’t do.

Barb Jungr
A cabaret set by England’s Barb Jungr, perhaps the world’s greatest interpreter of the post-1960 chapters of the Great American Songbook, is akin to a religious experience. Exploring the mysteries of artists like Bob Dylan, Nina Simone and Leonard Cohen, Jungr balances the heaven of her rich, expressive singing with the earthiness of her warm, funny stories. In her too-rare New York runs at the Metropolitan Room, she has the unpretentious conviction of a reformist oracle: a true believer in the power of song to transform and explain our lives.

Justin Vivian Bond
Countercultural icon Justin Vivian Bond, who prefers to go by the invented pronoun of v instead of he or she, radiates a disarming mixture of nurture and menace: part transsexual den mother, part cultural assassin, part offhand Cassandra. In rambling personal monologues and rumbling songs (from Kurt Weill to Joni Mitchell and beyond), Bond wields a shamanistic charisma that transcends both gender and genre. Heir to—and investor in—the Weimar and Warhol traditions, v commands nothing short of fascination.

Maude Maggart
Maude Maggart embodies romantic nostalgia in the present tense. With full lips and long, dark hair, she looks the part of a nightclub singer in a black-and-white movie; she often performs material from the Great American Songbook era, in a voice that can move from an ethereal sigh to a gently piercing trill. Yet her classic mixture of sensuality and innocence has subtle shades of modern trouble (her sister is Fiona Apple, after all) that deepen with each new set.

Cole Escola
Blending boyish mischief with dizzy charm and the ruthless twinkle of a starlet bent on fame, Escola’s comic persona suggests a street urchin raised by the gang from The Match Game.He gobbles your attention whole, with a scrappy confidence that doesn’t try to hide how hungry he is. Having cut his comedic teeth on YouTube and the Logo Network’s sketch-comedy show Jeffery & Cole Casserole, Escola is happy to bite the showbiz hand that feeds him, but with a poignant sweetness that makes you forgive him any trespass.

Paula West
Boldly straddling the line between jazz and cabaret, Paula West fuses musical rigor with keen emotional insight; perhaps more than any other modern jazz vocalist, she harks back to the glory days of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan. This has been a roller-coaster year for the San Francisco singer, marked by the release of her first CD in 11 years (Live at the Jazz Standard) and the death of her longtime musical director, George Mesterhazy. A perennial at the Oak Room for many years, she currently lacks a regular New York home—but a voice like hers demands to be heard.

Meow Meow
The international chanteuse known as Meow Meow—the alter egotist of performer Melissa Madden Gray—is a postmodern kitten with a whip-smart sensibility. Buttressed by pianist Lance Horne, she metes out her polyglot repertoire with brio and pique, moving from comedy to intensity in the blink of a long, fake lash. When not in her native Australia, she haunts the nightclubs of London, Berlin and New York (where Joe’s Pub is her usual home), spinning decadent silk into a tangled, captivating web.

Molly Pope
Self-styled as a brassy comer out of 1950s Broadway, Molly Pope teaches old-school lessons in the value of singing big. Her thrilling alto emerges like a full-on blast from the past; at a recent benefit evening of Judy Garland songs, she earned a midshow standing ovation. And her retro gumption brings a strange force to contemporary material, as she has proved as a fixture of Our Hit Parade—and is now demonstrating anew in a run of shows at the Duplex, with musical madman Kenny Mellman at the keys.

Lady Rizo
Lady Rizo, the “caburlesque” persona of actor-singer Amelia Zirin-Brown, has shed the straight-up girlie-show elements that once surrounded her, including back-up dancers called the Assettes. But there’s still plenty of tease to the stripped-down Unescorted series that she performs at Joe’s Pub. The bump and grind of her crackly retro voice (she sounds like an old blues LP, scratches and all) complements a Gypsy Rose Lee–ish enjoyment at being a naughty girl—a broad wink at femininity, with all its trappings and traps.

Taylor Mac
A Fabergé radical—beautiful, ridiculous and full of hidden tricks—the sublimely freakish Taylor Mac pilots audiences through fantastical journeys, guided only by the compass of his magnetic individuality. He is unafraid to aim at the clouds, and undeterred if some of his arrows go astray. (“Perfection is for assholes,” he insists.) Mac’s typically ambitious current project is a 24-hour concert spanning the past 250 years of American music; each show in his series at Joe’s Pub explores a different decade.

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Comicon NYC 2012

My first experience at Comicon was incredible! I went as Sally Jupiter from Watchmen with my friends as Protoman, Ramona Flowers and Scott Pilgrim. At least one of us was asked to stop for photographs at least every other minute, Protoman and I were pulled aside for an interview with a Japanese news show covering the convention, and we had an chance to see a live demo of Assassins Creed III. So much fun!

Atlanta, GA

Recently training for work brought me to Atlanta for a week of long days learning protocol and processes combined with long nights of exploring downtown Atlanta. A few of the highlights of my trip:

 Alma Cocina:

Carnitas tacos, guacamole, and a Keep Your Head Down to drink

This delicious Mexican restaurant and bar Downtown Atlanta offers a trendy atmosphere, excellent food with a few unique options including braised goat, a full bar and creative drink menu.

Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint:

This place, in my Yankee mind, is the epitome of real southern food and charm.

Blueberry Lemonade Moonshine. Delicious! This was my first time trying anything with moonshine. Dirty south!

Not the healthiest of meals, but it tasted amazing! This is the best fried chicken I have ever had! The meat was juicy and succulent, the breading crispy and flavorful with a hint of sweet. The sweet potato fries were amazing! However, the mac and cheese was a disappointment. I had high hopes, but found it to taste more like stuffing than cheese. Overall, fabulous meal!

I love hot sauce. Thank you Minxy for converting me. This one was delicious! I have never seen it up north, but it is worth hunting around for. The flavors are amazing and it adds a nice bit of heat without overdoing it with burn.

Did I mention live music?

Meehan’s Public House:

Another Irish pub with good drinks, good people, and a good atmosphere. As we were walking out and older gentleman approached my friend and I. Directing the conversation at my friend he told her his friend, Teddy,  thought she looked bored and could give her the night of her life. Stepping aside, Teddy was revealed to be an man with a thick mustache and toupe. Sexy.

Museum Bar:

We took a cab here on a weeknight and were greeted by two big events, a concert for breast cancer, and some promotional event for Bombay Sapphire. We chose the free cocktails from Bombay. Upon being seated we were handed canvas each and asked to paint. So we began to paint… at a bar, with pink cocktails.

Steamhouse Lounge:

This place was a true local restaurant and bar offering fresh, delicious seafood and a good atmosphere. We sat on the second floor balcony overlooking the city of Atlanta and munching on calamari and fish tacos.

First Hunter Pace

On September 16th, Ozymandias went on his first hunter pace and he behaved like a true champion. My four year old walked by the trailers unloading horses and by tents blowing in the breeze filled with people drinking sherry without causing a fuss. He merely perked his ears up and looking around curious and interested.

We rode through the course beautifully. Ozzie was on top of his game, responsive and eager to be outside. Only one small issue came up. We entered a field and the right side contained 50+ cattle fenced off by a simple one rope fence. Never having seen a cow before, Ozzie had no idea what to do. Then they began to moo and follow us as we walked across the field. Most horses would bolt. Ozzie merely tried to trot away. He was excellent!