Electric Fight Orchestra & r & Tracy + the Plastics were straight thrilling last week at Unified Groove Merchants. Utterly magnetic. Yes, it was only a half-hour long; yes, it was more talk than thrash; and yes, Tracy ("lesbian feminist video artist" Wynne Greenwood) basically just sat in a chair next to a screen that had images of herself projected on it (playing characters Nikki and Collette), holding a kind of three-way monologue. But ideas themselves are magnetic, friends. Dissent is electric, and Greenwood had the entire audience enthralled.
Hers is a feminism directed at the cultural vacuum of modern Cosmo culture. The ideas are radical, but the presentation is subtle. The art- installation feel and Greenwood's casual rapport with the audience was heady without pretense and stayed pointedly on message while managing an easy humor. We lowly pop scribes think even theater critic M. Bowen would have found this a brilliantly wrought piece.
Then, when the melodies did come (this is art punk, remember), in danceable, cascading bursts, it was like the Dionysian revelry after an Apollonian discourse. The commingling of emotion with rationality. Radicalism with rock 'n' roll. Hot shit, basically. We haven't had that much breathless, intellectual fun since college.