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Last Night

Last Night: UK Pop Sensation Kate Nash Redefines the C-Word @ El Rey

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Wed, May 12, 2010 at 3:44 PM

click to enlarge TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Timothy Norris
Yes, that's UK pop singer Kate Nash last night at the El Rey (sitting down due to one of her oddly not-infrequent foot-related accidents).

Yes, the banner says "A CUNT IS A USEFUL THING."

Yes, you know her mostly through some cutesy (kawaiiiiiiiiii) pop ditties and accolades from the mainstream UK music press, though she's occasionally known to bewail like an Anglo-Irish Yoko Ono. She also has a penchant for thorny subjects.

Our star photographer Timothy Norris documented her appearance, her fans, and her meet-and-greet. Check out the fantastic slideshow here.

So what's up with the cunt quote? Here's the context:

Though marketed as a popster, Nash sees herself as part of lineage that goes back to the Riot Grrrrls of the '90s (Nash was born in 87), and further back to the badass ladies (a few of them not-born-a-lady) from the Warhol factory in the '60s.

click to enlarge TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Timothy Norris

Here's how that banner is teaching a little history to Nash's "Supercute!" fans:

"A Cunt is a Useful Thing" is the name of a Kill Rock Stars single of a performance by Penny Arcade (B-side: "The Government Doesn't Want People to Fuck").

click to enlarge pennyarcadecunt.jpg
Here's a short bio of Penny from Salon.com in 2000 (ah, remember when Salon was badass and not online-NPR for "concerned liberals"...):

Penny Arcade aka Susana Ventura, made her performance debut at 17 with John Vaccaro's explosive Playhouse of the Ridiculous. She was a teenage superstar for Andy Warhol's factory and was featured in the Morrissey/Warhol film "Women In Revolt." She has worked with and collaborated with many of the greats of American experimental theatre including Vaccaro, Jack Smith, Jackie Curtis, Charles Ludlam, H.M.Koutoukas and Tom O'Horgan among others.

In February of 1985 she created her first full length performance at New York's Poetry Project at St Mark's in The Bowery which moved to Performance Space 122. This show later expanded into "True Stories" which was performed at Performance Space 122 in 1989. She has since performed in numerous venues around the world, including The Center for Contemporarey Art in Glasgow, Scotland, and the Artist Space, Sydney, Australia.

Anyhow, good job Kate. If these girls went back home last night and googled your quote and learned about Kill Rock Stars and Penny Arcade, you might have sowed the seeds of something real interesting in a few years:

click to enlarge TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Timothy Norris

click to enlarge Kate Nash singing at El Rey - TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Timothy Norris
  • Kate Nash singing at El Rey

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