Grouper, Breadwoman, Good Willsmith, Simulation | Bohemian National Cemetery | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Breadwoman


Grouper, Breadwoman, Good Willsmith, Simulation 

When: Sat., June 18, 6:30 p.m. 2016
Price: $20
In 1982 Los Angeles performance artist Anna Homler hopped into the “Whale,” her name for the blue 1961 Cadillac she inherited from her mother—and often used as in performances—and headed toward Topanga Canyon in search of poet-medicine woman Deena Metzger. During the drive something compelled her to produce an otherworldly stream of vocal sounds, a made-up language without meaning, and she whipped out her portable cassette recorder and taped it all, with results that suggest the ethnographic recordings of an imaginary land. Those tapes became the basis for her Breadwoman persona, in which she chanted spooky sounds over LA composer Steve Moshier’s creepy electronic mix of quasi-industrial smears, lo-fi beats, and eerie ambient washes. For her performances Homler would envelope herself in layers of ragged, loose-fitting robes with a babushka securing a hefty, hollowed-out loaf of rustic bread over her face (crude holes were cut out for her eyes and mouth). Earlier this year the project’s sole release, a 1985 cassette titled Breadwoman & Other Tales, was reissued by RVNG, bringing back to life a long-overlooked obscurity that sounds remarkably fresh—it’s a kind of fictional world music free of sociopolitical signifiers. The project has been revived for a handful of live performances, including this one, for which she’ll be joined by Steven Warwick (aka Heatsick) and a dancer who’ll play the role of Breadwoman as Homler sings.
— Peter Margasak
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