Noise, Stand-up, and Music
This past Sunday evening, I witnessed "Mr. God's Galloping Mountain Variety Show" at The Wingnut Collective in Richmond, VA. The performers--comprised of members and affiliates of The Cyberpunk Apocalypse--had ventured from Pittsburgh to hit Baltimore, Richmond, and Washington, D.C. in 72 hours before heading to the Midwest. In Baltimore, they performed at Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse on Friday night. Then they arrived in Richmond the next morning to table at the Richmond 'Zine Festival and tour the town on Saturday. Sunday night, they performed at The Wingnut, an archarchist collective located in the Barton Heights neighborhood. (Later I learned that their D.C. performance took place Monday night outside the Clarendon Metro in Arlington).
If "Mr. God's Galloping Mountain Variety Show" did not boast a full house at The Wingnut, nobody can fault their talent. One can, however, point to the esoteric nature of the show. Ken opened the show with prolonged noise--the audio equivalent of a Stan Brakhage film. Dan, founder of The Cyberpunk Apocalypse, followed up with a brief monolgue about an imaginary drug that dentists plant inside of their victims', er, patients' mouthes. Then came Gunner, the author of the novel the group was pushing on their merch table. She dressed up as the Vanna White of clouds, with a glamorous aqua gown full of cotton fluff appliques, and did a stand-up comedy act. The act consisted of an ancient cassette player blasting jokes as Gunner held up handmade sneaker and "human stomach" puppets. After Gunner came Marlon, the one-man acoustic band with a haunting voice. Todd wrapped up the show with a reading of an essay on condiments and adopting a child that turned out to be a dog named Winston.
I left the show with warm tea in my belly, a few laughs still lingering on my lips, and new thoughts in my head. Kudos to "Mr. God" for giving me a Sunday evening unlike any other in recent memory.
For the full schedule of "Mr. God's Galloping Mountain Variety Show," check out Cyberpunkapocalypse.com.