TRACY & THE PLASTICS, OCCASIONAL DETROIT
Tracy & the Plastics is one woman, Wynne Greenwood, who has three alter-egos. She performs as Tracy, backed by videos of herself playing various instruments as the other two band members, Nikki and Cola. (Though they obviously look just like Tracy, Greenwood’s developed distinct personalities for both of them: according to the band’s Web site, Nikki has an uncle who was eaten by lions and “a sister who does f-ed up things with sugar,” and Cola is currently reading Bell Hooks’s Feminism Is for Everybody and “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” by Walter Benjamin.) Her debut CD, Muscler’s Guide to Videonics (Chainsaw), alternates between darkwave and feverish disco, with Tracy’s voice as the main instrument, quivering mechanically over simple but funky synths or cawing like a digital crow over a galloping beat. The lyrics may confound your brain (“I wanted the name you had on your thumb, the only one! / Four winged deer with a metal tongue knows what it takes to get things done”), but the hyper, single-finger keyboard stabs will move your ass. Also on the bill is Occasional Detroit, a hip-hop trio whose front woman, Frenchie, powwows in the pit while freestyling about dancing and “feelin’ the love.” Meanwhile, two low-key guys huddle in the back, fiddling with turntables, a cheap synthesizer, and a radio. They’re hilariously lo-fi–last time they performed here Frenchie sang into a karaoke machine–but there’s no apparent irony in their act. This show is part of Ladyfest Midwest (see sidebar). Sunday, August 19, 7 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Lisa Darms.