Thursday, June 24, 2004

Peter in action

Peter Dizozza was one of the first people I met upon moving to New York City and he is by far the most successful and creative. Pete has been a dangerous friend, a collaborator, the first to pick up the check and the last to pull the trigger. He is a fascinating character and a pioneering figure of the Antifolk movement, an NYC genre of DIY post-punk music.

Peter is a playwright, a lawyer, a pianist, a singer and an actor; wearing whichever hats are most appropriate to the given moment. His work is singularly bizarre earmeme showtunes; unholy unions of Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and Stephen Sondheim.

They are nutty, offbeat songs and they are catchy as fuck-all.

In person, Peter is cryptic, easily distracted, unbelievably literary and prone to rants and complex theorizing. Lunch with Peter is a visit with a straightedge hetero W.S. Burroughs.

The six songs presented here represent the slimmest tip of Peter's musical iceberg; there are literally hundreds and hundreds of tracks to hear.

What a terrible, terrible shame if the poor fellow has to take the Van Gogh route and be ignored by the popular listening public until he takes a bullet to the chest.

If this appeals to you, tell a friend; send a friend! Let's get this guy rich and famous!

Come and dance with Peter! His music and stories are extravagant and mad and wonderful!


by Peter Dizozza - "Two Lovers on Tomorrow's Road" (from _Prepare to Meet Your Maker_ )

First, let's establish a few things. Peter is generally the writer of these pieces, not the vocal performer. Very often these are performed in, well, less than optimal fashion.

I really dislike the male vocals here, but Meghan Elizabeth Burns does just fine on her end.

"Two Lovers" is a sweet and perplexing Broadway ballad from Peter's epic "Prepare to Meet Your Maker". Mr. Dizozza's scripts cannot be simply distilled into soundbites; explaining the plot of this twisted and often dadaistic story would be like parsing Cremaster.
I'll let someone else try.

This Antifolk page contains links to buy Peter's material, interviews and background info.
Peter is the Theatrical director at the Brooklyn based Williamsburg Art and Historical Center.
The inexplicably named Michael Douglas is Peter's personal weblog.


by Peter Dizozza - "Meet Your Maker" (from _Prepare to Meet Your Maker_ )

You're gonna want to turn up your speakers; this is a poor quality recording.

A fascinating blend of warped theology, Les Miz glamour and shimmy shimmy shimmy kick!

The similarities to the "Three's Company" theme song are undeniable, gleeful and only serve to enhance my giddy enjoyment.

Some CD reviews
Kimya Dawson of the Moldy Peaches is an afficianado and conspirator of Peter's.


by Peter Dizozza - "Hang My Head" (from _Pro Choice on Mental Health_ )

So we finally get a taste of Peter's oft-maligned and ubergeeky nasal vocals. I love Peter's singing style; he's so engaged and joyful, utterly unwilling to back down from any melody and supercharged enough to leap at any arpeggio or unreachable note.

His voice is a shower voice, better than it has any right to be by virtue of its self-assurance.

The bridge kills me... SAAAAAVED! I dare you not to sing along.

Exploring Peter's astonishingly content and mp3 rich official site, Cinema VII, is an adventure in itself.
Loads to see and do.
Buy "Pro Choice on Mental Health" from Amazon.
Peter's first and thus far only solo album. Fascinating, repellant and beautiful.


by Peter Dizozza - "Don't Leave Me Behind" (from _The Golf Wars_ )

More of Peter on piano and vox.

Pricelessly loopy lyrics and groan-inducing near missed notes to a wurlitzer bossanova beat produce a somehow distressingly sad song about loss and fear.

This moves me about twenty times more than Wilco ever did.

Download and listen to this other great track from "The Golf Wars": Square One.
One of my favorites.
The Golf Wars.


by Peter Dizozza - "Attractive Storm" (from _The Last Dodo_ )

Helluva torch song.

New York's own Sidewalk Cafe is probably Peter's most regular haunt; keep an eye out in that direction for one of his regular and wonderfully entertaining live shows.
The Last Dodo, you say?


by Peter Dizozza - "Tell Me Now" (from _The Last Dodo_ )

Sexy and enigmatic.

Peter's instrumental work for film scores and such are just as interesting as his musical numbers.

Explain this antifolk thing again?
Get to know Peter better.



Two friendly conversations with musicblog luminaries yesterday: one with Sean, who told me about his gmailswap windfall (drop by and beef up his traffic!), patiently and kindly listened to me bleat on in my lowbloodsugarrambleranting fashion about banding up all the hot musicblogs into some sort of zeitgeisty superfriendsforcesite and my hemmorhoids and such.

The other call was with Keith, making an attempt to coordinate a trip to go see Diz Rascal and Th' Streets at Irving Plaza this Wednesday.

Sold out tho'. Anybody want to help us out? Please drop me a line.

If we make it, will we blog it? Stay tuned.
Sean and I also had a good lipflappin' about the sheer overwhelming force of new music and the tidal wave of new musicblogs. These days, I'm finding at LEAST one new musicblog a day. I'm cataloguing them in my favorites links, but I'm VERY behind on reading them and I've had to cut back on DL'ing, as I'm months behind on listening.

The prevailing trends excite the hell out of me: people exploiting a vacuum in niche specialties (the "FINALLY, THANK GOD!" blues musicblog Honey, Where You Been So Long? comes to mind immediately); group musicblogs of the "songs4robots" variety (see 3ive and scenestars, for starters); the "hi, here's what I like" bare bones lack of pretention musicblog (check the fetal spoilt victorian child) and the new generation of professionals joining in the fun (coolfer and lacunae and scissorkick and fatplanet and a dozen more).

The problem is no longer in finding new music; it's how to balance the canoe in the sea of riches.

You should have such problems. And now you do. Stroke, stroke, stroke kiddies!
Remember that story in the Ray Charles obit post I wrote last week about the guy at the bar saying let's put Ray on the ten dollar bill?

Anybody seen the Eric Palma New Yorker cover this week?

I feel so dirty.
All the "fuck" tracks are coming down tomorrow. Last chance, kiddies.