Ashley Huizenga, who operates as Actually and is a performance artist-cum-purveyor of what she calls "porn-pop". Actually, Actually doesn't just do porn-pop. She does porn. She does many things: apparently she's a "musician, a cinematographer and enfant terrible of the LA scene", but it's the fact that she does "freelance fetish jobs" as well as sex movies marks her out as rare. There have been artists who have made the transition from porn to pop before we can think of one, anyway, namely Traci Lords, whose 1995 album 1000 Fires was a prototype for Actually's sighing and moaning synth-pop and of course there are many female singers who have exploited the male gaze in ways both subtle and overt. But we can't remember a wannabe music starlet who has divided her time equally and simultaneously between pop and porn.
We don't know the full extent of her involvement in porn but that doesn't matter so much as her open admission that she does it, leaving us to decide whether she's subverting ideas about sexuality and ownership of same, mocking political correctness or simply benefitting from a notoriously exploitative industry. She arrives at an interesting moment. Already over the weekend we have had correspondence from a (female) friend nervously intrigued by Actually alleged to be the daughter of a wealthy LA family and the notion of her as a sort of hardcore version of Lana Del Rey, with a similar media savviness, pop consciousness, awareness of the camera and willingness to self-objectify as LDR. "Hipster Runoff," joked our friend, "would have a ball with this she makes Lana look like Gloria Steinem."
Actually/Huizenga whose house was recently visited by Morrissey and whose shows have been attended by Ariel Pink also provides a refreshingly artificial antidote to all the post-Amy soul belters in much the same way that Lords did at the height of riot grrrl, surrounded as the latter was by posturing keepin'-it-real types.
The buzz: "Actually Huizenga, or, ACTUALLY HUIZENGA, is our favourite musician/film-maker/nymphomaniac ever right now" vice.com.
File next to: Traci Lords, Goldfrapp, Sylver Tongue, Pat Benatar.
Silent Pictures is Alexander Mann (Mellow Drunk, Boyskout) and Rene Love (Ma'am, Bobbie Marie) plus full backing band supporting the debut LP Under Exposed. A collection of new singles as well as tracks from previously released extended plays. Under Exposed was designed with the vinyl experience in mind. Featuring post production from Legendary Producer John Fryer who is credited on working on the first records for Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Cocteau Twins, NIN, famous singles and albums such as "So Alive" by Love and Rockets, Wire and Chapterhouse to name but just a few. It was this dynasty of classic alternative that attracted lead singer and songwriter Alexander Mann to the possibilities of working together. A few songs from this LP had been influenced by some of John's past collaborations with other artists beloved to the members of the music/film explorative committee charged to create a dance folk experimental cinema experience known as Silent Pictures. The birth of Silent Pictures began in 1878 in Stanford California when Eadweard Muybridge and his remarkable technical skills produced the first-ever silent pictures and proved that a running horse has all four feet off the ground. Hijacking a movie genre was not an easy task. With each song came a film and a film became a song. Much energy is put into preserving the vast collectively owned heritage which is the public property of all free breathing citizens on the planet earthour early life in celluloid, music, free imagery and speech.
plus opening act TBA
Actually and Silent Pictures plus TBA and DJ $5 advance with discount code $8 at door 21 and up http://monarchsf.com/
The Monarch (View)
101 Sixth Street
San Francisco CA, CA 94103