Dr. Sketchy’s for E.A.S.T.

“The East Austin Studio Tour (EAST) features dozens of creative events each year, but we couldn’t help being especially intrigued by psychedelic taxidermy, neon Marie Antoinette wigs, vintage clothes, and pop grunge illustrations all in one space. We stopped by the Maison d’Etoile building (2109 E. Cesar Chavez) during installation to catch up with Allyson Garro, Hope Perkins, and Bradley Wilkinson to learn more about their EAST offerings.”
– Tracie Chan, Austinist

On Sunday, November 18th, Maison d’Etoile hosted a Dr. Sketchy’s anti-art class where I  posed as a love-child mashup between the two featured artists, Hope Perkins and Bradley Wilkinson. Do you know about Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School? I’m the director of the Austin branch – come and sketch some time!

I made these gigantic pink antlers and attached chandelier crystals between the points. What outfit would be complete without matching necklace and Pop Art paint-dripped crystal pasties?

I was so, so excited to meet Hope Perkins after seeing her artwork in different Austin venues for the past few years. What a sweetheart! Dressing for this event was a fun extension for me – how else would I have incorporated velvet and arrows in to the same ensemble?

These antlers were much smaller, and thus, I wore them for longer during the modeling sessions. They are covered in velvet, pearls, and are gold-tipped. This outfit featured glittery arrow wounds that emerged from my chest and ribs. I took cues from Kahlo’s The Wounded Deer, and also vintage hunting scenes.

Bradley Wilkinson made me a special character head to wear for a few poses:

And one of his sketches:

A sketch of me by Heather Joy:

Check out Dr. Sketchy to see if there is a branch in your town and then GO and DRAW!

Daily Outfit

  • Curry knit hat from Urban Outfitters a few years ago
  • 1930s dress with stiff ruffles and pearly buttons – from Uncommon Objects
  • 1950s navy fabric belt – thrifted from Goodwill
  • Black knee socks
  • Black and brown T-strap shoes – from Target a few years ago

Today I took Austin Phonograph Company to a wedding at Mercury Hall in South Austin. I was a little apprehensive, because it was my first Jewish wedding to play, and I didn’t know what I should wear. I’d been to my cousin’s Bar Mitzvah at Temple about ten years ago, but I didn’t know if there was a special dress code for a wedding. I read on a few websites that ladies are supposed to cover the neck and upper arms, as well as the head. To be safe, I chose a dress that is modest but properly festive for a post-Thanksgiving party.

The event had a more traditional ceremony, but there was also an all-girl Mariachi band playing called Las Coronelas (watch this video, it is UHmazing), a man rolling custom cigars for guests, and plenty of attendees with neck and elbows exposed.

Here is my little corner of phonographs next to the wedding cake, chocolate tamales, coconut cookies, and key lime pie shooters.

I hope your Thanksgiving was fun and restful – I held a baby rooster and spent time with friends.

Daily Outfit

  • Creme Beret – bought at Disney World at age 13 in or around the French Pavillion at Epcot Center
  • Vintage scarf around neck
  • Creme blouse, Buffalo Exchange
  • Green belt
  • 1930s skirt that goes to a suit set, Uncommon Objects
  • Green octagonal purse, given to me by a friend who moved to Korea
  • Pink fishnet stockings
  • Green cameo ring from Angeliska
  • Creme shoes, Buffalo Exchange

Sometimes I think that burlesque would be a natural direction for me to swim to, but then I get myself into a project that involves meticulously attaching thousands of rhinestones to an object, and then I think, “Nah.”

Yesterday I spent many hours making special deer antlers for costumes I’ll be wearing on Sunday. They involve Pepto-Bismol pink deer antlers, chandelier crystals, velvet, bloody glitter, and St. Sebastian.

Please come see me model two spectacular outfits this Sunday, from 5:30-8:30 for a FREE Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School session: EAST Sketchy’s!

Jazz Babies Island

This weekend we celebrated the last beautiful summer weather of Austin on the Commodore Riverboat with A Jazz Babies Island Excursion – Hot Jazz on a boat! Aunt Ruby’s Sweet Jazz Babies played, and I phonographed during their set breaks under the guise of Austin Phonograph Company.
What a perfect day for a boat ride! It had to be still in the 80s – I didn’t wear a sweater at all. We rode along the river for three hours and docked around sunset. I only got a tiny bit seasick, and nursed myself with a bag of popcorn and a fizzy water with lots of lime juice.
Lee with her fabulous lace dress:Tracy and Lauryn with the raffle tickets:

Farewell warm weather! The last day and a half have been chilly and brisk. I spent all day yesterday bundled up, sleeping off the pain of a new tattoo.

Sister Acts

Sister Acts from the early 20th century:

Three X Sisters – Rex & his Soundeffects, 1935

DeZurik Sisters, also known as The Cackle Sisters, 1938

The Brox Sisters – Red Hot Mamma

The Brox Sisters – Falling in Love Again, 1932

The Boswell Sisters – Rock and Roll

The Duncan Sisters – Surprise, 1935

The Gumm Sisters – Big Revenue. Judy Garland is the littlest Gumm Sister. Pretty cute!

Sisters G, Eleanor and Karla Gutchrlein – Happy Feet from King of Jazz

Ryan Sisters

Dolly Sisters

Take a Picture of the Moon

“Take a Picture of the Moon,” Sheet Music

I go through annoying cycles of having the same song stuck in my brain for six months at a time. Sometimes it’s a snippet of a few bars, other times, it’s only a verse/melody that I can remember. There was a period of three months last year where “Spiderman, Spiderman, does whatever a spider can!” was this annoying blip right at the surface of my consciousness. So much so, that I would sing everything in that verse and just change the words. For example, if I was at the ice cream parlor, and I needed to go to the back to get paper towels, I would sing to myself “Paper towels, paper towels, gonna need more paper towels.” in the Spiderman tune.

I must sound like a shoe-in as a candidate for the spin bin. Surely there is a proper psychiatric diagnoses for this condition? Maybe it can be a lumped in diagnosis with my photic sneeze reflex and the way cilantro tastes like handsoap to me. We can call it Foxtrot Syndrome. But, I digress.

Six years ago, I was listening to The Old Codger on WFMU (If you have not listened to this podcast, I demand that you listen to one episode immediately). Let’s all think back to what the internet was like in 2006: to get on Facebook, you needed a school email address, Youtube had some videos but not a breadth of old songs, and most of us were still Livejournaling. I had a distinct interest in being a scholar of the past, but no one to guide or teach me. Enter podcasts, and Courtney T. Edison, host of The Old Codger. I’d like to single handedly thank this entity for carving out my musical tastes, and giving me many jumping off points to start my own musical collection.

One song played on the program was “Take a Picture of the Moon.” Click on this link to listen to the mp3, and I’ve written down the lyrics for you as well:

Do you ever get a disappointment
Just because the moon don’t shine?
Do you ever sit around and mope
groan a little bit and give up hope?
There’s a way to keep a love appointment
even though the moon don’t shine
should yours be a case like this
try this plan of mine:

take a picture of the moon above
in May or June
then you can make love
morning, night, and noon
by the light of the same old moon

Take a picture of the moon on high
when it’s in sight
then you can be dry on a rainy night
when you feel like you’d like to spoon

you have the proper atmosphere
when you’re cuddling someone
take out that little photograph
you can laugh and laugh at the blazing sun

I think this is such a sweet sentiment – the whole song. I imagined myself taking a polaroid snapshot of a full moon, and carrying this crumpled token around in my pocket as an amulet.
So, yes. Incredible sentiments in this song. But WHAT was this singing? Especially towards the end where her voice got guttural and growling? Was this a recording of a young Sophie Tucker?

I can honestly say I had to shut my own mouth when I saw that it was a nine year old girl! I love watching Baby Rose Marie sing – it always cracks me up, especially in this video of her singing “Sentimental Gentleman from Georgia.” I love her hamming it up, wrapping her hands around that beefy man’s neck and doing a little Boswell Sisters scat at the end.

A very short video of her, quite young.

My Bluebird’s Singing the Blues, 1933

Rose Marie discusses being a child star.

She went on to be in many TV shows (including the Dick Van Dyke Show) and is still alive – she’s 89 this year. “Take a Picture of the Moon”is still stuck in my head.