By Daniel A. Kusner

Transsexual music goddess Baby Dee brings oddball Vaudevillian thrills to Fort Worth

Hedwig had better watch her back.

Cleveland-born singer/songwriter/harpist/pianist Baby Dee ups the "super-duper freak" factor. And in this case, "freak" is a sublime compliment.

Part sideshow novelty and Tin Pan Alley ham, Baby Dee is a fiftysomething transgendered performance artist. Her curriculum vitae is also pretty rad: a former music-director/organist for a Catholic church in the Bronx, a former tree surgeon and a former Coney Island sideshow performer (as a bilateral hermaphrodite).

And Baby Dee puts all that experience back into her work. The sound is like Tom Waits’ boozy-bluesy sister: stride piano riffs, tubas, violins and off-Broadway torch songs.

On Friday, she’s performing in Fort Worth in support of her new album "Safe Inside the Day" (Drag City). The first single off the album, "Teeth Are the Only Bones That Show" is a rollicking, sing-along laced with dark Vaudeville but somehow sounds like a catchy pop song.

And it looks like others are catching on: Dee’s album includes a collaboration with hardcore rocker Andrew W.K.

Daniel A. Kusner

QCinema and the Metrognome Collective collaborate to bring Baby Dee to Fort Worth at Arts Fifth Ave, 1628 Fifth Ave. Feb. 22 at 8 p.m.

Show begins with a a set from DJ Marcosis, followed by Theater Fire, then Baby Dee and her band.

Advance tickets, $8; $10 at door. 817-923-9500.


Hey, isn’t that a picture of Cate Blanchette in drag? Yep. The American music legend Bob Dylan (whom Cate cloned for Todd Haynes’ movie "I’m Not Here") continues his three-day stint in Dallas. Catch him Friday-Saturday at House of Blues.

House of Blues, 2200 N Lamar St. Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. $59.50-$127.50.

On Tuesday, Erykah Badu unveils her newest brand of neo-soul. On Tuesday, the Dallas diva performs a CD release show at House of Blues for her new album, "Nu AmErykah." Badu says the album is about "taking the responsibility to talk for my race and my planet."

House of Blues, Feb 26. Doors at 8 p.m. $20-$75.

Satanic drag queens are performing at House of Blues next Friday. America’s most dangerous influence on children, Marilyn Manson, and his old bassist Twiggy Ramirez have patched things up for Manson’s "Rape of the World" tour. Ramirez left Manson in 2002. Ramirez [Jeordie White] says his drag persona was based on a desire to ridicule Courtney Love.

House of Blues, Feb 29, doors at 7 p.m. $59.50.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 22, 2008

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