It’s hard to be popular when you’re a punk. Hetero trans rocker Edie Sedgwick trots through Dallas enroute to SXSW
How do people get famous?
"I have no idea. I don’t think there’s a formula. I guess it’s about being in the right place at the right time," says Justin Moyer — a.k.a Edie Sedgwick, the self-described transgendered reincarnation of Warholian superstar, Edith Minturn Sedgwick (1943-1971).
With an aggressive, clashing backbeat, Edie is like a music version of the paparazzi. Check her songs:
"Sissy Spacek," a bouncy, pogo-worthy ditty about "pigs blood coming down in a red flood."
And then there’s the track "Angelina Jolie," a shimmy-shaker about plucking children from third-world orphanages: "Let’s go get a baby / A black baby."
All of Edie’s songs are about celebrities: "Anthony Perkins," "Mary-Kate Olsen" and "Molly Ringwald." But the songs aren’t about celebrating the fame game.
"These people are the icons of our time. And I find them fascinating," he explains. "Like Mary-Kate is the Olsen sister with the eating disorder, which we all know is about control. That’s how Mary Kate differentiates herself from her twin. And I don’t hate Angelina Jolie. I just think it’s weird that she’s a U.N. ambassador who’s made it her mission to reach a double-digit number of adopted children."
Moyer is 34 years old and straight. And when he’s not onstage, he freelances for The Washington Post. It’s like Edie is his crossdressing vehicle to comment on celebrities who become world leaders.
"I can pick up The New York Times or The Washington Post and read an op-ed piece by Angelina Jolie or Bono. And I’m supposed to take it seriously?
"In 2007, Bono was one of Time magazine’s Men of the Year. He’s a fucking ridiculous rockstar — basically the equivalent of Jim Morrison. I’d never want a Jim Morrison figure dictating my politics. But it’s strange that society will pay attention to 100,000 people dying from cholera — which is a major health problem in Africa and has a basic solution: clean water — but their dying would go in vain until Bono decides it’s a problem. I don’t think it’s bad, I just think it’s bizarre that that’s how society works."
While promoting his newest album, "Things are Getting Sinister and Sinisterer," (Dischord), Sedgwick makes her way to Texas this week. On Tuesday, she plays Dallas before an Austin gig at South By Southwest Music Festival. But SXSW doesn’t fuel any starry-eyed ambitions.
"I feel like I was put on earth to perform for people. South By Southwest becomes, like, a place where people converge. And if meeting a booking agent or band I can tour with makes it easier to perform, then that’s great. But you should only do music because it’s fun. There’s little money in it, and there’s little glory. Maybe South By Southwest will make it easier to have fun," he says. "I have no desire to be famous."
EDIE ON TUESDAY
Edie Sedgwick perform at Lounge on Elm Street, 2810 Elm St. March 17 at 10 p.m. $5-$10. 214-748-4222
TANK UP ON SATURDAY
Austin-bred DJ Michael Tank, pictured, who now calls Miami home, spins into Big D on Saturday. With a penchant for tribal beats and catchy instrumental hooks, Tank tries to evoke positive energy.
Who wants to kick up their heels on the dance floor listening to screaming complaints?
He’s no stranger to Dallas’ boogie venues. Tank was the monthly resident DJ at The Brick, and he’s spun at Club One and Liquid.
Excuses (formerly Club One), 3025 Main St. March 14. Doors at 10 p.m. Cover, $15 in advance, available at Zen Salon, 3910 Cedar Springs Rd.; $20 at door. Sin-Parties.com
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 13, 2009.