Ok, Kids, so as you may know my musical exposure was limited pretty much to Bluegrass gospel and folk during my most formative years. Most everything since then has had a breathless sensation of “catching up on something from the past”, a discovered treasure, but one to which I had no connection in my history.
We were allowed to watch old black and white movies, though, and I’ve really been enjoying coming back around to the music of Mae West, Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe and then related artists (in my mind) like Peggy Lee. I’m probably using the words slightly wrong, but I’ve been using the word “cabaret” to describe my one-person club performances of these high-character, high-camp songs that usually sit somewhere in a cinematic narrative. I know there’s a long Broadway history of this kind of thing, but I’ve always been strangely put off by the “Broadway scene” as I perceive it. Current Broadway music doesn’t have the rich, classic Jazzy, Bluesy or Big Band feel of the movie versions I like. It’s pop-y, overly modern and has the ugly tinge of reality singing competition feel to it: singing as a way to “crush the competition” and build one’s self up rather than bring a character to life or entertain the audience.
I feel something in a lot of Broadway music, and music in general now, that seems to have forgotten that the artist is there in service of the audience. To entertain, enchant and please them. I feel so much ego and self aggrandizement in performance nowadays.
Which is why I love going back to my own personally cherished goddesses and their canons. This summer, I hope to record my first real album in London with Patrick Wolf, a wonderful friend and inspiration. For now, I’m posting some of the “fourth wave” of my music on Soundcloud and Bandcamp and iTunes. The previous waves were: Childhood Folk Gospel, 90′s Amateur Remixes and Early LA Tracks. I’m excited about this next chapter!
Update: Here’s the commercial!
See Calpernia as one of the new Faces of Facebook in their national commercial for Facebook Home!
The video was originally leaked and introduced by Mark Zuckerberg himself here:
If you peek about 28 minutes 41 seconds into Mark Zuckerberg’s LiveStream announcement of the new Facebook Home software, you might just see a familiar face or two. Yours truly, America’s Transsexual Sweetheart Calpernia Addams and Drag Queen Superstar Shangela of RuPaul’s Drag Race appear over the shoulder of the male lead. I have the pleasure of singing “After You Get What You Want”, a Jazz classic, to him over his shoulder as Shangela bursts forth from a beverage cart. Is Facebook’s featuring of trans and drag entertainers in a national commercial a first for the company? Let’s hope the inclusiveness continues!
Check around 28 minutes 41 seconds in: http://new.livestream.com/facebooklive/events/1980369/videos/15474908
I’m reading a piece as trans AIDS activist Connie Norman tonight 8pm @ The Skylight Theatre on Vermont in further support of World AIDS Day, alongside actors including Ann Walker, Tony Abatemarco, Larry Bates, Michael Kearns, Sandy Martin, Brian Normoyle, Ryland Shelton, Lianna Taylor, Gordon Thomson and David Trudell.
Text of monologue below:
Frontiers LA has a nice interview about my involvement with the upcoming Angels of Change benefit show, helping trans youth though the LA Children’s Hospital. Check it out!
Get tickets or your calendar of the lovely girls at http://angelsofchange.net
Ok, a few bad things happened this week (and let’s be honest, this LIFE…) but here’s the positive stuff I’m celebrating:
On Wednesday my amazing business partner Andrea James and I celebrated the 10th anniversary of our company, Deep Stealth Productions. Thursday, my gorgeous boyfriend began our weekend together by greeting me at my door carrying two hot Philippes’s Roast Beef French Dip sandwiches with their signature horseradish mustard. That night I got to play accordion onstage with my musical idol Patrick Wolf and hang out with his fiancé backstage. The next night, I played with Patrick again at the Bootleg music festival. Saturday, I had “Calpernia Presents GODDESS“, my weekly signature live night at Hamburger Mary’s, and Patrick duetted with me as part of the show. Monday I performed alongside the legendary Jackie Beat, sang with Patrick again and laughed all night with him and his boyfriend at Jackie’s killer set.
Today, it’s bright and sunny outside. I had a great breakfast. I’m surrounded by musical instruments, art supplies and computers (several of my favorite things). More friend time coming up all week. Hooray for life!