review of 11/7/96 concert, moma, nyc

[contributed by Pattie K.]

When I received my invitation for Patti's performance at the Museum of Modern Art, and saw the ticket prices, the rock'n' roll rebel in me reared its ugly head. I was determined to buck the system. I took my 40-year-old body to the post office and sent in my $50 check. I hoped more fans would see fit to fuck authority. As it turned out, I had no trouble getting in with that $50 ticket; I had even less trouble securing a seat with my friends in the $100-a-ticket section. We watched Jay Dee walk in with a drop-dead gorgeous blonde and start heading for the front. After he dropped something on the stage, we watched him being led to the cheap seats.

As the performance began, both Patti and Oliver admitted to being nervous. Patti seemed as defiant as I was as she launched into some of her more raunchy poetry: "Easter," "Jean D'Arc," "Neo Boy;" although she didn't seem as confident as the week before at Nightingales. She kept putting down her command (or lack thereof) of the French language. Her catchphrase for the show was: "Remember, whatever happens tonight, the museum benefits." She commented about the labor depute between MOMA and its employees, saying she was sure that both sides would be fair.

The set list consisted of:

Intro (Margit Rowell)
St. Francis (Artaud)
Babelogue/Dancing Barefoot
Jean D'Arc
Les figures sur la page inerte (Artaud)
Situation of the Flesh (fragment, Artaud)
Walking Blind
Piss Factory
A new song from Oliver
Here Lies (fragment, Artaud)
To the Dalai Lama (Artaud)
Beneath the Southern Cross
Fragments of a Journey in Hell (Artaud)
Gone Again
Wild Leaves
Neo Boy/Rock N Roll Nigger/Poetry Fragments

At one point, she got so caught up in Artaud's poetry, she couldn't read and started ripping pages out of his book.

Patti's clothing aped the Horses cover, and during the show she indicated that she wanted to thank the people responsible for her wardrobe but didn't want to butcher their names.

Ultimately, Patti had nothing to be worried about, since the mature patrons of the Museum were the first to give her a standing ovation at the show's end. They were also the first to laugh at her jokes during the performance and seemed to geniunely like her. But then how conservative could they be if they're patrons of MOMA? (Although I wonder how many of them took their free CD.)

I really enjoyed this show because I got to see Patti perform pieces I'd never before heard. I loved the atmospheric sound of her reading with Lenny and Oliver playing guitar behind her.

A champagne reception followed the 80 minute performance. We spent the time in the gallery soaking in Artaud's drawings as did the only drummer that Patti's ever had.

Copyright © Pattie K.1996

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