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Hummingbird Magazine Presents: Theophobia Live Stream Benefit For Trans Woman of Color Collective, Reviewed

Louis C.K. became a creep and lost his funniness, and part of that creepiness was on view in his new “Sorry” stand-up where he un-amusingly claimed fat people are more discriminated against than the Transgendered community. The last time I looked fat people were not being murdered because of their physical appearance, while transgendered people (especially people of color) live in mortal danger. According to Human Rights Campaign (here), 51 transgendered women have been murdered so far in 2021. Fat people? 0. Discrimination is brutal and society always picks on the weakest members.

Theophobia, the glam-weird duo, are well aware of this. Dylan Mars Greenberg is a transgender woman and a filmmaker (“ReAgitator: Revenge of the Parody” is a brilliant guerilla style on the streets of New York City, low budget, sci-fi masterpiece), a cult star whom it is difficult to overestimate, and Matt Ellin, according to WBOC-TV (here) a guitar and bass prodigy, streamed a 34 minute live concert as part of Hummingbird ‘s TRANSCENDENT benefit -a website (here) “elevating fresh, perspective-widening music that often flies under the radar according to them”. The owners and writers are college kids. A set was filmed by Theophobia’s resident filmographer Adam Ninyo in Matt’s apartment with guitar, vocals, and backing tapes; Dylan in a faux leopard skin bikini top and pant suit bottoms, and Matt, who looks like a young Peter Frampton after a five day bender, nailing down their songs guitar parts and solos, and both of them performing skits in between.

The setlist is the five previously released songs, two new songs, and the only track missing in action “Miss Subway”. Both of the new songs are excellent, “Turn Left, My Son” is Gilbert And Sullivan influence, lyric blurt, “Satellite” is a Duran Duran style synth pop. Of the last four songs, three are hard rockers like a cross between Sparks and The (transgendered themselves) Tubes; set closer”The Loop” is sent on another level with the inclusion of prog guitarist Nick Didkovsky’s solo, “Whittler and the King” is a blow out, rock and roll prog classic. The hits are sprinkled throughout the set (all of the most popular on Spotify make an appearance) with “Love Of Ages” a standout and “God Of Love” born to be a concert barnstormer for them.

But I did mention The Tubes and there is an entire visual aspect along with comedy skits that adds a dimension to the band. From Matt slowly unbuttoning his paisley shirt throughout the show till he eventually strips it off, to Dylan, bent at the knees and screaming (and scaring Matt’s roommates), special effects -Matt on acid is a beauty, and yes, skits. The top skit is Matt as an English pop star in 1964, with a pretty good impression and the funniest moment of the evening where Dylan ignores the pleas not to do Austin Powers, right on its tail an extended laugher on the Three Stooges. The skits are short enough so they don’t disrupt the performances and sharp enough to rest between bewildering and beguiling.

Streamed last month, the set would have been a unique and lovely thing anyway, but I can’t think of anyone with the exception of a coupla stand-up and EXPOTUS Trump, who does anything less than support the transgender community. It would be so shameful not to support TRANSCENDENT’s Trans Women of Color Collective (here), so watch the show, forward some bucks, and remember: Shemp Howard would have wanted it that way.

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