Saturday, April 11, 2009
The Hermaphrodite: Baby Dee
There’s a YouTube video of Baby Dee wearing a bee costume and riding a giant tricycle in a circle on a Providence sidewalk while dramatically recounting a scatological prank involving a 300-pound midget, a baby Jesus costume and an Entenmann’s chocolate cake. Despite this empirical evidence, the Cleveland-born vocalist, pianist, harpist, accordionist and composer argues—with sincerity—that “I’m not a theatrical kind of person.”
“No,” she adds, with a stage laugh that falls somewhere between vintage Bette Davis and classic Phyllis Diller, “I’m just a regular old hermaphrodite.”
Her claims of nontheatricality are seemingly betrayed by a 30-year career of performing in circus sideshows, dingy bars, art spaces and New York streets, where she busked atop a customized (obviously) harp-bearing tricycle. The context of her antitheatricality claims are explanations of how her spectacular new album Safe Inside the Day (Drag City) differs from her previous work.
at 12:50 PM