November 11, 2019

Hi!

photo by Erik Gould

Well, here I am again, 3 months late on my theoretically bi-monthly website update and newsletter. Please accept my most sincere apologies or humble “you are welcome,” depending on your taste in newsletters and long-windedness.

The good news for all is that I am writing in time to tell you about Jim’s & my 100th birthday (if you add them together) celebration CONCERT on November 19th at 11th Street Bar!

Also, you are getting this before the holiday season really kicks in, so you will learn about my amazing new Larréon heirloom masterpieces in patchwork couture winter accessories and fashion carryall bags before you are too stressed out and bitter to appreciate beauty and value!

But more on those things later.  You like it best when I go in chronological order, so that stuff really belongs after the past and before the future

Let’s start at the very beginning (a very good place to fart, as the kids say).

Right after I last wrote in June, I hauled my cookies (my ukelele, a suitcase full of costumes, my Then and Now (Cape Collaboration), and my 2 performing partners Jim Andralis and Julie DeLano) to Providence, Rhode Island to present my new performance, Beyond Repair

at the RISD Museum as an extension of the exhibit there, Repair and Design Futurescurated by Kate Irvin and including my piece Then and Now (Circles: Coreopsis Moonbeams, Irises, Poppies, Forest Road) which is in their permanent collection. 

I performed Beyond Repair right there in the RISD Museum gallery, surrounded by contemporary art & fashion and ancient textile artifacts from around the world, all of which possessed some form of evident restoration or repair.  

photo by Erik Gould

My performance was a reworked, smaller scale version of my show Who or What I Am, which I’d debuted at Joe’s Pub the summer before, now drawing more explicitly on the idea of “repair” as it resonates with how I feel about my relationships and the way they develop and change – and sometimes fall apart – as I grow older. The piece felt great to me (and hopefully also to at least a few of the audience members), because the theme is close to my heart, and also because it was one of my most cohesive presentations that brought together so many of the media that are a part of the big picture of my practice as an artist and me as a person. I want to do it again!! 

photo by Erik Gould

After the RISD Museum, I enjoyed being included in a show (YOU CAN’T WIN: JACK BLACK’S AMERICA) inspired by one of my favorite books (Jack Black’s You Can’t Win) curated by one of my favorite people (my brother-in-law Randy Kennedy) at Fortnight Institute, a cool, smart gallery in the East Village.

Larry Krone Red White & Blue Train (2000) exhibited with a mugshot postcard from the collection of Luc Sante

Then I hunkered down in the studio to put my efforts and loving thoughts into a couple of very special gifts for two very special people.

Was I raised Jewish? Yes. Are there some things about the religion and the culture of my people that I love? Yes. (Pastrami, for example, and the fetishization of learning.) Is one of those things that I love any of the following: the ceremonies, the rules, the wigs, going to synagogue, or the Tallits? No, Sir or Miriam!  But if you are getting Bar or Bat Mitzvahed, you need a Tallit (prayer shawl), so it may as well be fierce, unique to your taste, and made by your uncle.  I made this one for my niece Rachel who lives in Portland, Oregon.  

Rachel chose the colors, and I found very fancy wool gabardine versions in the garment district, and then hand-stitched the shit out of the whole thing. She’s a big Harry Potter fan, so I embroidered some secret Gryffindor school stripes in the neckband.

It’s what Jewish uncles do!

As soon as I finished that, I started a new project that selfishly provided the opportunity to indulge in at least 2 of my favorite things at the same time – 1) sitting around for hours on end sewing sequins on fabric assemblages and 2) thinking sentimental, loving thoughts about my husband. He was turning 50, you see, so I made him this:

It’s made from some crewel and embroidery samples from maybe the 40’s, a couple of vintage 1980’s and 90’s embroideries from kits, some of my own embroidery, and a variety of sequins, some of which came from the Todd Oldham 1990’s fashion archives, sewn on one by one.

Making gifts for people I love is an important part of my life and practice.  I love the idea of the indulgence in so much time and thought into something that is really only meant for one person- very different from the frame of mind that usually goes into making art. 

But they all can’t be gifts.  After finishing the piece for Jim, I went full force into a new, larger-scale piece that is for the world to see and is, most definitely, available for purchase! 

All of the found embroidered projects that compose this piece depict fruit. The point, to me, is that the same subject matter can inspire such a diverse array of artistic (and geographical, economical, cultural, personal) identities, while each of the people who made these things have at least one thing in common: they wanted to sew fruit!

If you want to see this piece in person, come on over! Or wait and go see it in the newest incarnation of Queer Threads, curated by John Chaich, which will be on exhibit at the American University in Washington DC in August 2020. 

I hope you don’t think I’ve been neglecting my duties at House of Larréon for the sake of my fine art passions!

It’s the NEO CEO, it fits Bridget Everett perfectly, and I hope you like it. 

Now, do you have a minute to read about a couple of bright spots in my “singing” “career”? 

I didn’t hear a “no,” so…

Jim and I were photographed by Gregory Kramer for DOWNTOWN, his book of photographs of downtown New York performers and personalities. If you hate romance, DO NOT scroll down!!

photo by Gregory Kramer

To release the book, Greg hosted a couple of events, one of which was at Club Cumming on August 1st, where Jim & I were each invited to perform a short set.  

That was the first time I performed at Club Cumming, and I LOVED IT.  No sooner did I decide that I needed to find a way to perform there again, than Greg asked me to do a set in another DOWNTOWN themed show on September 19th. I still loved it! Stay tuned for more of me performing at Club Cumming, because that’s what I want to do.

October 29th was a very special night at Joe’s Pub, because that was the first installment of the Grand Ole Pubry, a very exciting and entertaining country-themed variety show hosted by Jim AndralisJenn Harris, and Neal Medlyn. That show was full of so much talent, silliness, music, semi-nudity, and entertainment, that I could barely contain myself! And the Grand Ole Pubry was also full of ME, because I was a special guest.  I sang one of my favorite songs, KT Oslin’s 80’s Ladies, while I transformed – through couture House of Larréon stagewear – from man, to little girl, to lady, to grown woman, right before the Joe’s Pub audience’s very eyes.

photo by Gregory Kramer
photo by Gregory Kramer
photo by Gregory Kramer

This in, just under the wire: FASHION CLUB IS BACK as of November 9th!! We took a break over the summer, because our members were on vacation from school and on an assortment of trips with their families and/or summer camp variants. Then, with the arrival of Fall, new school schedules needed to settle in for some, while debilitating case of shingles plagued our oldest member who shall not be named. Now, the shingles are gone, school is under control, and- most significantly, Bridget was available for an appointment to have a fitting, so we pulled it together and did it! 

We have been designing and making a two-garment look for Bridget to perform in. During this fitting, we decided on a shorter hemline for one garment and a new sleeve placement and added trim for the other. Hopefully, our seamster won’t catch another geriatric disease and can finish these alterations soon, so the world will get the chance to see Bridget wearing our look on the Joe’s Pub stage before 2020!

In the meantime, please enjoy this portrait of the younger club members indulging in my signature chilly weather drink, Hot Vanilla Milk à la Granulated Sugar and Marshmallows. The mug theme for the day was “Legends”.

And now we have arrived at the future portion of this update! On November 19th, as I mentioned earlier in this email, Jim and I will be celebrating our 50th birthdays by putting on a show and a party at one of our favorite music bars in the East Village, the 11thSt. Bar (on 11thSt. between Avenue A & B).  We’re thinking of it as sort of a “This is Your Life” but composed of song, alcohol, friends, and cake! We will sing some of our favorite songs dating back to 2004 when Jim & I first met and started performing together, and maybe even a couple from our previous lives when we were performing as parts of the Isotoners and Larry Krone & Family, respectively. There’s no cover, just fun and hopefully some distraction from the horror of becoming half a century old. Our extremely talented and charming singer/songwriter/Syntonic friend Jessie Kilguss opens at 8pm and we go on at 9. If you are in New York, PLEASE COME

Other things in the future: I’m going back to Yaddo in April! Queer Threads in DC in August! I’ll be in group shows at the The 8th Floor Gallery and Pioneer Works next Fall! I’m doing some exciting costume work and maybe even performing in Neal Medlyn’s brand new TBA production sometime in 2020!

The most exciting thing I see in the future, though, is that YOU are going to buy out my SHOP of all of the finely crafted “Diva Hiver” cold-weather couture accessories that I have been making for the colder months and gift-giving season. 

I really am excited about this batch of Larréon craziness, largely because the fabrics I’ve been using are so luxurious, high quality, and WARM. The scarves are mostly made from wool remnants I found at the Pendleton store in Portland, and the hats are made from a crazy mix of knit materials that includes experimental samples I got at the innovative SKIF International in St. Louis.  Everything is 100% hand stitched together with a variety of yarns, creating totally unique, boldly stylish accessories that you can wear anywhere over the next several chilly months!

Dolly and Larry Enjoy Appalachia in Their Larréon Finery

OK- how is everybody doing? Do you have enough patience left for another word from me? Before you answer that, let me put it another way:  do you have room in your heart for something tender, exposing, and possibly slightly uplifting?  If your answer is no, I’m impressed that you can live with yourself.  

This is about me and my songs. I have not been too prolific in my songwriting over the past few months.  It could be partially because I keep embarrassing myself with the repeated impulse to write wholesome advice songs for kids.  It also could be because the songs do not usually come out any good. I realize that this impulse is a horrendous, totally not cool one, but I can’t help it!  I think it’s a combination of me turning 50, plus being surrounded by a lot of nieces and nephews and my friends’ kids. Also, with social media, I am constantly reminded of myself at various stages of my life, so I keep thinking about what I felt like when I was younger and what I would have loved to have heard then. I don’t think it ever would have been “I hope you dance,” but it might have been something close to this part of a song that I need to rewrite but probably never will.

Hey you, with the rock 'n roll hair
Staring at your phone pretending to not to care
You’re OK, not that you need to hear it from me

I don’t know what you think is going on
If you care about the world being almost gone
Or if all that’s going on in your head is your need to be free

There are people all around trying to tell you what to do
Your parents, your friends, your music, the news
Everyone thinks they know who you are

But every group, you seem to collide with
Non-binary doesn’t begin to describe it
You’re so much more than you get credit for- you’re a star

Is that dumb? If your answer is yes, PLEASE DON’T TELL ME!!

Thank you for reading this if you did.  Skimmers also deserve some credit.  

Have a wonderful few months until I write again.

By the way, this site was designed and made by Matt Fisher. Don’t you want one like it?  Hire him!!

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