Discerning drag 

Justin Moyer of Washington, D.C., isn’t your average drag queen.

Yes, I know every self-respecting drag diva will insist she’s not your average drag queen — honey — but Moyer really isn’t.

A soft-spoken, thoughtful, straight musician, Moyer decided to take a step in a new direction when he got fed up with the same old band bullshit while on tour with his former punk band, El Guapo.

“So, you go on tour, and you get up on stage, and do your little guitar thing … it’s so boring,” says Moyer. “And I thought, ‘Who amongst these guys is going to really make themselves vulnerable?’”

Driven to push the envelope, Moyer took the obvious next step: He donned drag for the first time and re-invented himself as the reincarnation of Edie Sedgwick, singing wry, comical, self-penned songs about America’s fascination with celebrities over tinny electroclash beats.

OK, maybe it’s not a totally obvious step, but you gotta give the boy some props for creativity.

Moyer describes his show as “15 percent pop art, 35 percent comedy, and 50 percent shakin’ that ass.”

Sedgwick, who died in 1971 of a drug overdose, garnered her Warholian “15 minutes of fame” while running with the trendy art crowd of the 1960s. She was the glitzy girl without any great talent; she was simply famous for being famous — much like a certain skeletal hotel heiress of today.

“If Paris Hilton hung out with the art crowd in New York, she would be Edie,” says Moyer. “Edie is just an artsy version of people like that — that’s exactly the kind of person I’m fascinated with.”

He’s also transfixed by our culture’s celebrity royalty, which Moyer both skewers and embraces with his tongue-in-cheek tunes.

“I explore themes through the lens of famous people,” says Moyer. “I think everyone is a lot more interested in celebrities than they’d care to admit. Everyone lingers too long in the checkout aisle at the supermarket.”

 

See Edie Sedgwick Thursday, Aug. 5, at Detroit Art Space (101 E. Baltimore, Detroit) wsg CornDawg and Perfect Wieners & Butt. Call 313-664-0445 for further information.

Sarah Klein is a Metro Times staff writer. E-mail sklein@metrotimes.com

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