Check it out – I love this video. It was made in 2014 for our annual benefit. Featuring highlights from previous services in LA and New York and a scorching track by Idgy Dean. I love all the colors and faces and moments – DETAILS of an ever-expanding community of artists and creative people. Photo credits: Bobby Lucy, Kim Zsebe and Keren Lynn. Video footage by Jason Speenburgh, video cut by Steve Park.
Monthly Archives: March, 2015
Our dear pal and longtime Secret City enthusiast, Danyon Davis is going to read the calendar for us this Sunday in NYC for ANIMALS. I met Danyon years back in LA when we both did the SITI company training – he’s a wonderful actor and a great teacher, too – of acting and physical theater. Here’s his bio.
Performed in classical, contemporary, and experimental plays throughout the U.S. and Europe. Former associate with Bill T. Jones and SITI Co.; also acted, taught, and directed many years with the Guthrie Theater. Teaches movement at HB Studio, Circle in the Square Theatre School, and the Neighborhood Playhouse; also assistant to Moni Yakim, Head of Movement at Juilliard Drama Division.
Our poet this weekend comes to us via my old high school pal and celebrated poet herself, Dana Levin. When I reached out to Dana for some fresh blood in the poet department, she responded with a very generous list of contemporary New York Poets. I was excited to have such a resource – and then, after checking out her website, I reached out to Kamilah Aisha Moon. Kamilah said YES – always a thrill – and is going to come read for us. I’m always happy to meet new artists and can’t wait to have her with us. Here’s her bio:
Kamilah Aisha Moon’s work has been featured in Harvard Review, jubilat, The Awl, Poem-A-Day for the Academy of American Poets, The Oxford American and Gathering Ground. A Pushcart Prize winner and finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and the Audre Lorde Award from the Publishing Triangle, Moon is the author of She Has a Name (Four Way Books) and holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College.
Our musical guest this Sunday for ANIMALS is Blythe Gruda, a wonderful New York singer with an international flair. She’s known to downtowners for her regular appearances at The Losers Lounge at Joe’s Pub. She’s going to sing Leonard Cohen’s A BIRD ON A WIRE for us and I. cannot. wait.
Here’s Blythe’s bio:
Blythe Gruda and her expressive, versatile four-octave voice have already hit both The Royal Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall stages several times, most notably performing, recording and touring the American and UK Premieres of the Pop Opera, ‘Kristina’ (by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus of ABBA). She starred as Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar in several productions around the world and has performed in many plays and musicals throughout her career. She enjoys traipsing with her entourage of composers, visual artists, educators, mad scientists and friends across Tuscan hillsides, in various Cathedrals, in elegant and eclectic rooms, in the woods, in various types of parlors dressed in gowns and outrageous costumes, as comfortably accompanied by Symphony Orchestras as by thrash guitarists or a single bass clarinet. She rocks the mic regularly with her band Blythe Sword. She regularly performs with the New York Institution The Losers Lounge at Joe’s Pub, fronts the RUSH Tribute band The Rush Project and is also a Poet and Songwriter.
Follow Blythe at www.BlytheGruda.com
ANIMALS! Wow – it’s a new theme for us and what a WILD theme it is…makes me think of the horse we had when we were kids, none of us rode her or took care of her but we loved her! We lived in the suburbs but dad really wanted us to have a horse. She lived in a stable across town…we would go visit her but, frankly, she scared me. I was afraid she would kick or bite me…we got rid of her a few years later, sold her to the woman who took care of her for us. I had chicks one time from the fair – didn’t do so well with them either. I loved them but they were chicks and they lived in a birdcage in the downstairs bathroom and didn’t survive much beyond the week after the fair. I wasn’t one of the 4H kids, far from it. I had, and still have, a great love of animals but am not a great steward. I did have a parakeet for a few years, his name was George and he was yellow and blue and pale green…he sang so sweet. ANIMALS also makes me think of when we went on safari when I was a kid – we saw elephants and rhinos and zebras and cheetahs and all the amazing wild animals of the bush…pink flamingoes taking off into the sky en masse. We also had cats and dogs – the cats always intimidated me but it was the dogs who stole my heart. I’m gonna write about all of this for this month’s story…the dogs in my life, esp the last one and the current one. (this pic is of SALLY, our new little dog – we adopted her in December.) And, as is our way in The Secret City – we’ll really be looking at the HUMAN ANIMAL, us, with our bodies and hairs and skin and bones…This Sunday, March 15th in LA – and then we’ll be doing ANIMALS again in NY on Sunday, March 29th. Hiss. Purr. Growl.
I’m a fan of Becky Thyre – she’s an actor and writer, whip smart and funny and I knew her back in my LA days. Then, about two years ago, our NY pal, zinester and performer and Secret City stalwart Ayun Halliday sent Becky our way, turns out their friends. I’m delighted she’s going to take part in this Sunday’s service in LA – ANIMALS is the theme, Sunday, March 15th at Bootleg in Silverlake. She’s going to read the Cultural Calendar for us. Here’s Becky’s bio (which I also love):
Becky Thyre is a writer and actress who lives in Pasadena, CA with her husband cartoonist Tony Millionaire and daughters Phoebe and Pearl.
Years ago I had a band called Chris Wells and the Highballs and we had a regular gig at Atlas Bar and Grill on Wilshire and Western. The band was fantastic – they’re the same guys who play with us for The Secret City LA, I’m happy to report. They had a band of their own, called Guadaloop, which was a smokin hot rock band with a killer lead singer named Pinky Turzo. Pinky used to come to our shows and I was always so excited to see her, we became pals and kept in touch over the years. When I was thinking of someone to sing for this month’s LA event – this Sunday, March 15th, the theme is ANIMALS – i was trying to think of someone with that animal power and magnetism – who could bring something of pure human animal energy. I thought of Pinky Turzo and she’s going to sing for us! I’m so thrilled. I can’t wait to hear her and to share her with The Secret City community – and, it will be a reunion of sorts for Guadaloop. We’re all lucky.
Here’s her bio:
Pinky Turzo was born in Las Vegas, Nevada to a Dolly Parton look-a-like mother and
a rock & roll father. Being that her parents were struggling to be involved in
entertainment, they of course wanted their daughter to have a shot at a career in
the fizzling Las Vegas music business. Naturally, they signed Pinky up for accordion
lessons at age 7. After lugging around a 30 lb accordion for many years, Pinky
realized that microphones were much lighter. By age 16, when she wasn’t in school
or singing in the church choir, she was singing Pat Benatar & Quarterflash covers in
hotel lounges on the strip as well as singing in garage bands at stoner parties. The
minute she turned 18, she got on her first plane and flew to Los Angeles under the
pretense of just staying for a short time to sing on a few demos for a family friend,
but once she saw the shimmering lights of Burbank airport, she knew there was no
turning back and that her life in pursuit of being a rock star by the time she was 19
was about to begin.
After getting very lucky and signing with an agent at CAA, Pinky landed a small role
on TV’s “Fame” and a couple B movies which shall remain nameless. Then came the
glorious 80’s melrose years. Turns out, working on Melrose in it’s hay day while
dressed like you’re in Siouxsie and the Banshees can get you some attention and
sometimes even a paying gig modeling or in a music video. You might recognize
Pinky as the girl in the pink Middle Eastern garb featured in REM’s “Loosing My
Religion” video or in Ween’s “Voodoo Lady” video as… you guessed it, “the voodoo
Finally, in the early 90’s, Pinky began singing again in bands. After a short lived
recording project with songs written and produced by Ron & Russell Mael of Sparks
called Universe of Love, she became the back-up queen for many LA band’s live
shows and records until eventually making her way to the front of the stage in her
all girl blues band, The Blue Bonnets with Kathy Valentine of the GoGo’s. And then
again in one of LA’s first trip-hop bands, Guadaloop who saw some marginal
success after a West Coast tour opening for Fiona Apple.
After 30 years of living in Los Angeles and a couple close calls with realizing her
rock star dream, Pinky has come full circle. A serendipitous introduction to
legendary producer, John Fryer of 4AD and Mute Records fame, landed her in a
position to finally record an album of her own music, combining her love of the goth
and new wave music of the 80’s with the kitschy pop of the Shangri La’s in the soon
to be released project, Silver Ghost Shimmer, produced by John and co-written by
Our featured artist this month for ANIMALS – Sunday, March 15th in LA, March 29th in NYC – is the one and only, Bobby Lucy. It’s hard to tell you how wonderful he is – or maybe it’s easy to tell you – see, Bobby’s my partner, my boyfriend and co-founder of The Secret City. An accomplished painter, he’s been making fantastic, weird, wonderful, colorful works on canvas and paper for many years. 3 years ago he began Robert Lucy Animals – he paints animals by commission – and the portraits are extraordinary. He’ll be sharing a selection of them and talking about his process. In the meantime, you can check out his website: www.robertlucyanimals.com