Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hedwig and the Angry Inch in Korea

I've always loved Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the music video-esque movie about a transsexual punk/glam rock girl from East Berlin who tours the US with her rock band as she tells her life story and follows the ex-boyfriend/bandmate who stole her songs. Great songs & makeup & costumes, endearing German accent, East Berlin setting, boy who loves boy who meets get the gist.

But I think I love it even more now that I saw this post on Margaret Cho's blog with a photo of her good friend John Cameron Mitchell, who went to Korea and performed for thousands of Hedwig fans wearing a traditional Korean braided wig and Hambok (traditional Korean dress)! What a sweet gesture to connect with the audience!
Which reminds me - back on July 15th I went to KCRW's World Festival at the Hollywood Bowl. I went to see Groove Armada, but the headliner was Café Tacuba. I'd never heard a single song of theirs, but I knew they were an eclectic band from Mexico obviously endorsed by Nic Harcourt, the host of KCRW - so they couldn't be all that bad right?

I stuck around even after the crazy knitted half mask/half skull caps came out that looked like a cross between a Mexican wrestler mask and a rooster (with the crest on top). Hey I didn't get it but seeing the father of 3 wearing it made me smile and I went with it, hoping that I'd experience something new and interesting that night that I'd never been exposed to before.

Then the lead singer took the mike and started speaking to the audience. He said a lot before and after each song but it was all in Spanish. Someone behind us shouted, "We need subtitles!" After a few songs and realizing that the guy was not going to even attempt a single English phrase - there was a mass exodus of people.

Really a shame since there were so many people in the audience being exposed to the band for the first time, and if he had at least said something like "Hello Los Angeles!" (come on how hard can that be?) many people would have felt like it was a nice gesture to connect with those who didn't speak Spanish. But he continued to only connect with the Spanish speakers and alienated all others.
I'll never go and see Cafe Tacuba again, but seeing a photo of Hedwig in Korea wearing a traditional Korean getup makes me wish that I was there in the audience watching the musical live. It's a small gesture but it goes a long way.

No comments: