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I Hope the Walls Stay Dry: And I Am Not Lying Live at The Black Cat in Washington, DC.

October 24th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

On Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011, I am going to be performing along with my troupe of storytellers and burlesque performers at the Black Cat in Washington, DC.

It’s going to be me (Jeff Simmermon) as a storyteller, along with And I Am Not Lying members Cyndi Freeman and Brad Lawrence, along with additional burlesque by Runaround Sue and Cyndi Freeman as Cherry Pitz. Tickets are $12, show starts at 8PM.

You can get those tickets here: And I Am Not Lying: A Night of Storytelling, Comedy, and Burlesque

This is a cool trailer that our generous, warm and talented friend Tracy Rowland cut together for us. If you happen to write a blog or want to shout it out loud on any sort of social platform that you fancy, do please go right ahead:

And I honestly cannot believe that I just standing here in my office, typing this like it’s the most normal thing in the world.

We used to sneak off to the Black Cat in high school and college all the time, to pretty much see everybody. It was the beacon on the hill, the magnet in the big city that produced Bad Brains, Fugazi, Nation of Ulysses and God knows how many other bands — many of which contained my friends that I secretly admired but never told because I was so jealous — and sucked me right up there. I hung out there all the time in the years that I lived in DC, and now I’m thrilled and terrified to be a tiny part of the continuum that made me.

Imagine if you ate at incredible potlucks for your entire life, full of incredible, nourishing delicious everything you could possibly imagine and then found all these new things you didn’t ever know existed but blew your mind apart all the same.

When it comes your turn to put a dish on the table, you just really hope it doesn’t make people barf on the walls, is all I’m saying.

I am nervous enough to barf on the walls right now. I started this blog in Washington, DC as well, and it’s going to be a pretty weird homecoming.

I made this fun little flyer to promote the show, too. Just go right ahead and post that on your social platforms as well:

And I Am Not Lying at the Black Cat

I sure hope you folks can make it.

Archives Posts

Rogue Copy Editor Corrects the C Train

October 20th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

My grammar isn’t always perfect, but I do okay. When something’s misspelled or written incorrectly, it feels like a string out of tune. Or like hearing bagpipes – in tune or not.

It seems like copy-editors are getting laid off left, right, and center – as though nobody cares anymore. Sure, typos happen when you’re writing and posting fast. And everyone knows what you meant to say. But it’s like giving a big presentation with your fly all the way down. Sure, people know that you meant to put pants on. And your wang is probably still covered. But it still makes a distinct impression.

It looks like a rogue copyeditor took the red Sharpie to this Uniqlo ad on the C train. They just couldn’t take it anymore.

Edited Uniqlo ad

Good for them. It works better now, doesn’t it?

Archives Posts

Reverend Al Sharpton Vs. Royal Quiet Deluxe, Chicken Band at The Moth

October 5th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

I just got some video footage from a Moth show that I did back in September that I’m extraordinarily excited to share with you. I’ve mentioned my stint in Royal Quiet Deluxe, chicken band, on here before, but as a refresher: I used to live in Richmond, Virginia and play the typewriter as a percussion instrument while a few chickens improvised keyboard pieces in toy pianos. For real. It was extraordinarily difficult to build a fan base, and I can say with great certainty that the Reverend Al Sharpton was not a fan AT ALL.

It’ll make more sense in the video, I swear.

I have told this story in various incarnations over the years, but I happen to feel that this performance at the Moth at Southpaw in Brooklyn on Labor Day this year really nailed it. Hope you enjoy it:

If you’re interested, you can actually hear two tracks that we recorded at practice here:

Royal Quiet Deluxe, April 1998
Exotic Newcastle Disease, by Royal Quiet Deluxe

If you happen to see this today, and want to see more like it live in person, I’m putting on a show with my awesome and talented friends tonight at Union Hall in Brooklyn. There will be stories like this, burlesque striptease and a sword-swallower. For real.

Click here for show info and a cool poster: And I Am Not Lying Live at Union Hall

You can get advance tickets here.

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And I Am Not Lying Live Hurricane Makeup Show at Union Hall

September 28th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

I think that Hurricane Irene’s only real casualty in New York City was the And I Am Not Lying show. I was willing to wade to Union Hall and stand on top of the bar if I had to, but with the MTA shut down, not many folks would have made it. And plus, the place was closed.

But we’re roaring back with a rescheduled show next week on wednesday, October 5th. Here’s an updated poster, show info after the jump …

And I Am Not Lying, Union Hall 10.5.2011

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Gripping the Rail With Both Nostrils – No Wonder I’ve Got A Cold

August 22nd, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

Summer colds are such a ripoff. At least when you’re sick in the wintertime you can enjoy being under a blanket and watching TV indoors. When I’m sick in the summer everyone else is having the most idyllic day of their life — the whole world is tossing a frisbee in slow motion while a death march plays in my head.

Ever since I’ve moved to New York, I’ve gotten more colds. And more of those colds have mutated into full-blown sinus infections. Last winter I coughed so hard I thought I cracked a rib.

I used to wonder why I got so sick all the time, and figured it had something to do with touching all those handrails on the subway all day long. Take a look at this guy I saw on the N train this morning — I think I’m right:

This is why I'm sick

He rode the subway all the way from Atlantic/Pacific to Canal Street with his nose smushed against the railing, pausing only to give it a deep picking. I don’t know if I’m grossed out for that guy, or because of that guy.

From now on, I’m commuting in a HAZMAT suit.

Archives Posts

Mat Fraser and Julie Atlas Muz Are Worth the Trip

August 18th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

I’m incredibly excited about the show that we’re putting on at Union Hall next weekend — for any number of reasons, really. But one of the most exciting things for me about this variety extravaganza is that we’re featuring what promises to be an incredibly strange burlesque act from Mat Fraser and Julie Atlas Muz.

Here’s a little about Mat, from his Wikipedia page:

Fraser was born with phocomelia of both arms, due to his mother being prescribed thalidomide during her pregnancy. As a live artist he was a member of the performance art group The DHSS in the early 1990s. He was included in Manuel Vason’s book “Exposures” and has performed at numerous internationally renowned venues. He received considerable critical acclaim for his one-man show “Seal Boy”. In 1999 he worked with the Hydra Collective on an event known as “Wrong Bodies” at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. As an actor he has performed with the “Graeae Theatre Company”, Europe’s leading disabled theatre company. He is the creator and main performer in a new play called Thalidomide!! A Musical. He also co-hosts the BBC’s Ouch! Podcast.

Fraser has appeared on television both as a presenter and as an actor, in a number of productions including Metrosexuality and Every Time You Look at Me. He is also a martial artist having studied hapkido, taekwondo, Karate.

The following video is a trailer for his movie “Kung Fu Flid,” also known as “Unarmed and Dangerous.” Bear in mind that it’s incredibly gory and the language is likely not safe for work:

This video shows more extensive clips from the film, too. And brother, the language would make a porn star blush. It gets really intense at 1:52:
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Meet the Jersey City Pimp

August 4th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

This is the Jersey City Pimp:

Jersey City Pimp

I saw him on the PATH Train a few weeks ago. I don’t see him that often, but he’s not like, white buffalo rare. A JC Pimp sighting brings you goodluck, but it’s rapidly expended: you get the privilege of seeing him. That’s good enough. I have no idea what this guy’s name is, or what he does, or how he afoords those suits that make him look like Flavor Flav starring in a remake of “The Mask.” But he’s probably not a real pimp, like that other guy in Jersey City.

People in Jersey City try to photograph him, and they track sightings on the JC List. I saw him on the train once, wearing a floor-length faux-raccoon fur coat and a fedora covered in matching fur. I asked him if I could take his picture, and he waved me off, muttering “no pictures, no pictures.”

It’s fascinating to me, that someone could want to draw so much attention to themselves in one way — and so little in another. He’s not exactly trying to blend in.

Archives Posts

Lost: One Seriously Evil Cat

July 29th, 2011 by D.Billy

I spotted this flyer walking up 5th Ave in Brooklyn today. I don’t think someone so much lost this cat as cast it out of their home with a series of prayers and incantations.

Evil Cat poster

Archives Posts

My Burlesque Troupe, Hotsy Totsy Burlesque is at Coney Island Thursday June 23

June 21st, 2011 by Cyndi Freeman

Hotsy Totsy Burlesque is back after a 4 month break! I love this show. It is an ongoing burlesque soap opera with returning characters and plot lines. We’ve been doing it for 4 years.

The basics are that Cherry Pitz and the girls live at The Home For Wayward Girls and Fallen Women, an all girls’ hotel that is always in need of cash so every month they run a show to raise funds. Of course, there are things that always seem to go wrong or weird behind the scenes. Think Muppet Show but instead of puppets you have naked girls…..(Which the Muppet Show kinda wanted to do.)

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Living the Dream

June 19th, 2011 by Jeff Simmermon

Someone pulls up slowly to the crowd on the elevated highway, just to the edge where all the people and abandoned cars make it impossible to drive further. The driver wrenches the wheel to the side at the last second, lurching to a sudden stop and surprising a shriek and a laugh out of the woman in the passenger seat.

They slide out of the windows like the Dukes of Hazzard. The woman strips to a Wonder Woman bikini and puts on some silver boots. The driver throws his shirt into the open window and says “well, I won’t be needing this down there.” “Babe, I don’t think you’ll ever need that again,” the woman says, helping him to tie on a giant furry cape as he plops a Thor helmet over his head.

I have no idea why I’m staring at this couple in particular — thousands of people have done this over and over all afternoon, ditching their cars in place on the highway and jumping out to walk down the interstate towards the glowing orb in the park below. They’ve come with roller skates and hula hoops, picnic baskets and massive cone joints that you have to hold with two hands. “It’s a horn of plenty, brother, and the more you share it, the more you get from it,” says the guy that hands it down to me from tall mirrored stilts. You’d think it would be tough marching down the road, slick as it is in spots with smeared fruit dropped from the vines bursting from the median and snaking their way down the guardrails.

The first couple of pilgrims had to stop their cars in the middle of the highway because the undergrowth got too thick to drive anymore. I’ve heard that the giant white orb sticking out of the National Mall up ahead is the source of all these sticky fruit-bearing vines that are caressing the highway system all around Washington with tendrils that plop giant mango-shaped things that taste like honeysuckle and persimmon and breadfruit all rolled into one all over the roads. In some places they burst up through the pavement and then split, creating shady canopies along the road.

gotham_swamp

We walk faster, laughing and passing a fruit around, the juice dribbling from our chins. Someone bats a beach ball towards me and I smack it on up ahead into the crowd. A couple guys with guitars and bongos are covering the Talking Heads’ “(Nothing But) Flowers”. People are in bathing suits and furry chaps, riding unicycles and laughing but we’re all moving forward together as the crowd thickens and the sun drops down near the horizon, a giant red orb hovering over the bluish white one on the mall.

The other side of the road is deserted, blank except for one guy who has fashioned his blue dress shirt into a sort of head wrap. He motions for someone to help him over the concrete divider. Once he makes it over, he pulls his Blackberry out of the holster on his hip and whips it over the divider and down the empty road, skipping it like a stone on the empty pavement. When it explodes into shiny shards the guy that helped him over the divider whoops and gives him a high five.
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