BULLIES reading at PPOW 11/9/11

November 2, 2011

BULLIES: A Literary Reading at P.P.O.W.

Address: 535 West 22nd Street, 3rd Floor, Manhattan

Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.

Brontez Purnell is a musician (Younger Lovers), writer (Fag School Zine, Maximum Rock and Roll), and a professional whiskey taster. He resides in sunny Oakland CA, where he is currently penning his first novella, entitled: Johnny, Would You Love Me If My Dick Were Bigger? (Diary of An American Waiter—Bored At Work).

Joseph Whitt is a Brooklyn-based artist, writer and independent curator. His work has been featured in exhibitions and events at various venues (CRG Gallery, Deitch Projects, PPOW, Envoy Enterprises, Starr Space); and his writing has appeared in numerous publications (Art Papers, ArtUS, K48, Useless Magazine). He is currently working on a book titled T.M.I.

Kat Case is a high school English teacher and fiction writer who lives in Manhattan. She wrote a monthly column for the punk magazine Maximum Rock and Roll for five years and published the zine Snapshots for maybe seven. She holds an MFA in Fiction from New College of CA and an MA in Education from CUNY. She is currently working on a novel about a Beat woman artist who kept her dirty underwear in her unplugged freezer and a bunch of short stories that are, frankly, pretty shameless.

Max Steele is a performer and writer. He has presented work at the New Museum, Deitch Projects, Dixon Place, Envoy Enterprises, PPOW Gallery, and the Queens Museum of Art. In addition to writing the psychedelic porno poetry zine Scorcher, his writing has been featured in Dossier Journal, Spank, Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art, East Village Boys and Birdsong.

Flyer photo by Max Luger.

Facebook link HERE.




HUMP DAY GRAB BAG: Alternative Alternatives

August 25, 2010

By Max

NOT TO BE A HUGE JERK, but there’s This Pop Singer Who Is Really Famous Right Now and kind of bumming me out. I don’t want to shit-talk cause it’s a total waste of time, but it’s gotten to the point in my life where when people mention how much they love this singer, I feel deep pangs of personal guilt, because it means that the person I’m talking to and I are fundamentally disagreeing on some things. It’s like how in the early 00s (‘member?) sometimes you’d be at a soccer game or the supermarket or a PTA meeting and someone would say nonchalantly that they had voted for Bush, and it would just send up a red flag? It feels like that.

The thing that bugs me about This Pop Singer Who Is Really Famous Right Now is that she purports to be something of a Performance Artist. Now, I’m not going to say that Pop Music and Performance Art are mutually exclusive, but I will say that the kind of Pop Music this singer is making is absolutely antithetical to the goals of performance art. According not only to my, but in fact anybody’s definition of performance art. Performance Art necessarily means something that is expressed / transmitted via (you guessed it!) PERFORMANCE. This Singer’s work is almost always mediated through studio magick, the radio, MTV, YouTube, Fashion Photography, Twitter, etc. It’s deliberately a kind of Art that doesn’t need to be performed live, since it’s readily accessible. Just saying. So when I am getting bugged out about this I figure I can either rage against the dying of the light (incorrect use whatever) or I can offer some alternative to This Pop Singer Who Is Really Famous Right Now. So let’s do that.


Maybe you already know about her. The thing with This Pop Singer Who Is Really Famous Right Now is that she often claims that the biggest misconception about her is that she’s fake, that she’s artificial, and she wants you to know that she is Always Glamorous, Always In Drag, and very Real. OK I’ll bite: BULLSHIT. This video for the title track from Murphy’s second solo album Overpowered plays with a similar idea, in a much more interesting way (I think). The premise of the video is that Murphy’s stage persona never comes off, that she wears her ultra-bizarre high fashion outfit (Courtesy of Gareth Pugh– Murphy was wearing Pugh long before Kylie, Rihanna, Beyoncé, and the Pop Singer In Question) in cafes, on the bus, etc. as a way of juxtaposing the artificial with the real. It makes an interesting comment on the nature of celebrity culture and beauty. Oh also, this came out in 2007.


HAD TO GO THERE. The thing about Kylie Minogue is that she’s world-famous everywhere except for the USA. In most of Europe, she’s more famous than Madonna. Madonna has, for those Europhiles (and American Fags) who have been keeping track, been ripping off Kylie for decades. SO while This Pop Singer Nowadays rips off Madonna, she’s actually not even citing the Minogue sources. The almost-Goth, sort of vaguely “dark” aesthetic that This Pop Singer employs was much better used, again in 2007, by Kylie in the video for “2 Hearts”. Other than the fact that this song and video are excellent, the fact that the shiny skull is a reference to Alexander McQueen, the skull itself was actually a symbol of triumph. When this video came out, it was the lead single from Kylie’s “comeback” album X. Comeback, I mean, from breast cancer. Kylie has an authentic right to glamorize the macabre because unlike the Pop Singer Nowadays, who’s whole shtick is utterly devoid of anything involving “the real world” or “obscurity”, when Kylie released this video, singing into a skull microphone, she has just beaten Death. Top that.


It’s no secret that I love Grace Jones. I listen her every single day and she is a totally guiding force in my life. It is with no small amount of disappointment that I continually see This Pop Singer referencing her work. Grace Jones’ eccentricity is best exemplified by the video above (total. personal. anthem.) Unlike the current Pop Singer, who equates randomness and embellishment with intellectual weight, this video shows Grace in what appears to be her natural habitat, running from Keith Haring’s studio to the wardrobe closet to the chiropractor. The message here is that even with this totally unsustainable, unreal level of glamour, she is able to look directly to the camera and sing a love song. The layers of artifice serve to create a distance which the song’s message ostensibly crosses, rather than simply mask the singer’s face. Grace wants you to know that you and her are meant to be.


Look, one of the things that I don’t understand about This Pop Singer, is how she simultaneously seems to be singing about her “feelings” while denying any trace of actual human emotion. She is bloodless. Does pop music have to be this way? Not if Robyn has anything to say about it. The marriage of a human heart and a dance beat may sound strange on paper, but with Robyn it makes perfect sense.


Thought it’d be nice to have a non-girl, non-superstar in the mix. Toronto’s Diamond Rings proves that you can do really cool interesting pop music without a multimillion dollar budget. Look, even Kathleen Hanna is a fan. That ought to be enough. This video is really cool and proves that really, real people can and do succeed at aspiring to glamour and art. Who needs a custom haute couture outfit? Just put a sexy kid in a Karl Lagerfeld t-shirt. Signify, baby. This is what postmodernism ACTUALLY looks like.

So whatever. These are some things you can listen to and watch instead. Check them out.

Stay dry, America. Stay motherfucking dry.


May 12, 2010

So it’s Wednesday. I hope you’re happy. If you’re here in lovely New York City, you’ll know that it’s raining outside. Why would anybody who is NOT in NYC be reading this? I wonder. But then I also remember that Birdsong International Kitty enterprises, LLC, 69420 is a WORLDWIDE phenomenon. Speaking of weather and not being in NYC, I miss Mickey Pussy so hard. I love it when she updates her Special Blog, called Seriously You’re The Worst, with tales of her fabulous life out in Los Angeles. Slash I want to come visit. Slash and never leave.

Anyway TODAY’S THEMES ARE RAIN and then also WHATEVER  ELSE I FEEL LIKE: Read the rest of this entry »

HUMP DAY: Cheer The Fuck Up

February 10, 2010

by Max

Well, it’s Wednesday. I hope you’re happy. As usual, I’m in a foul mood. The really great thing about being such a total drama queen / drama-class queen / emotional cripple is that when you’re always in a bad mood, then the Universe is just FULL of things that are there to cheer you up. So these are some of the things that cheer me up, AKA MY BIG IDEAS FOR A SUICIDE HOTLINE BLOG POST AKA SUICIDE’S NOT A JOKE. AKA sometimes it is.

1. Chinese Food

General Tso did not exist, but his bean curd haunts my fantasies

Yeah. Food is Number One. I’m eating leftovers right now. Read the rest of this entry »


January 11, 2010

by Max

I first met Gerry Visco at QxBxRx, NYC’s infamous queer punk dance party, where she showed up with out mutual friend Joseph Keckler. Joseph told me that she was there to cover the evening for NY Press. I was go-go dancing that night, and was immediately charmed by the platinum blond bombshell that was scurrying around the dance floor, alternately shaking her booty and snapping photos. She definitely seemed to be on the wrong side of the camera. I was immediately charmed. Over the last few months, I’ve been lucky enough to catch some of Gerry’s performances, and have been keeping up with her written output. I am so thrilled that a real life Style Icon such as Gerry Visco sat down to answer some of my questions. Let’s get to it!

Read the rest of this entry »

Hump Day Grab Bag

December 2, 2009

by Max

The theme of this week’s Grab Bag is going to be WHITE WINE.

Aren’t themes great? I think every sentence should end with CHILDREN.

Last night I was at a party with one of my favorite people, Erin Markey. It was a swanky affair with waiters trotting through with hors d’œuvre (pronounced “whore dirt”) every four minutes. Markey asked one of the waiters for tips on how to eat a shrimp (girls like us usually don’t do that– eat shrimp, I mean). The party ALSO had a BAR. Where there was this nice boy in a suit named Michael who is a Leo and his “job” was to stand there giving everyone WHATEVER THEY WANT TO DRINK. I stuck to White Wine cause I figured a) no one gets drunk off of just White Wine and b) no one ever gets a hangover from just White Wine. I am here today to tell you that I was wrong, both times. I got fucking wrecked on only White Wine and Whore Dirt, and this morning I am fucking fabulously hungover. I feel at least twice as great as I look, which (not to brag) is pretty fucking ace. I totally got cruised by a guy selling newspapers this morning. I could’ve seriously scored a free Post just by wiggling my hips but I think it’s uncool to sell my body like that. Not for the Post. I WILL put out for a copy of that Palin book though (are you listening Santa? I’m Jewish). aT THE PARTY LAST NIGHT, Erin pulled me aside and said “Max, I had no idea you were a White Wine drinker”. I am. Now you know. SO THESE ARE SOME OF THINGS SOMEHOW RELATING TO WHITE WINE: Read the rest of this entry »


October 15, 2009

Starr Space, a Brooklyn-based performance art venue founded by artist Jules de Balincourt, is pleased to announce an evening of live performance that will take place on Saturday, October 17th, 2009. Organized by Joseph Whitt, this event will feature live sets by Hawnay Troof, Ana Da Silva, Max Steele and the Party Ice, and special set by DJ Anthony Thornton. Doors open at 9:00 P.M.  Show starts at 10:00 P.M. Cost is $7.00 at the door, until filled to capacity.

Ana Da Silva is a founding member of The Raincoats, a British post-punk band formed in 1977, frequently cited as a seminal influence by bands such as Nirvana and Sonic Youth. In February 2005, Ana released a solo album, The Lighthouse, on Chicks on Speed Records. Stuart Moxham of the Young Marble Giants collaborated on one of the album’s tracks “Modinha.” Since the release of The Lighthouse, Ana has played several sporadic solo sets in Europe, and this will be her first ever appearance as a solo artist in America.

Hawnay Troof is an Oakland-based one-man electronic/rap/dance/funk unit consisting of Vice Cooler, also a founding member of punk bands XBXRX and Kit. Since his teens, Cooler has traversed the globe several times, performed countless live shows, and earned resounding praise from the likes of Henry Rollins and Solange Knowles. Peaches has called Cooler “the world’s greatest performer,” and Aaron Rose once described him as “one of the most talented entertainers alive.”

Max Steele is a go-go dancer, writer, performance artist, and singer who currently lives and works in Brooklyn. This year, he was profiled by Interview Magazine and The New York Press recently described him as “that boy at the party who you really resent because you either want to be him or fuck him.” Max Steele and The Party Ice is Steele’s “gay soul” disco band, and this is their second appearance at Starr Space. With The Party Ice, Steele’s lead vocals inspire all manner of gyrations and bounding sexual thrusts from a bevy of accompanying dancers.

Anthony Thornton is a Brooklyn-based artist whose output has included a private-press tape label, free-form ceramic sculpture, essays on female iconoclasts, and several unreleased compositions in power electronics. As DJ, Thornton will round out the evening with a polarizing set of gabber, coldwave, ethereal Italo and dissonant female rap, converging all disciplines for an unparalleled listening experience into the wee hours.

Starr Space is located at 110 Starr Street, Brooklyn, NY 11237. Directions: Take the L train to Jefferson St., exit at front of train, then walk 2 blocks down Starr (past Maria Hernandez Park) to 110 Starr St.

Flier by Patrick Dyer