Your standard abstract artist will take an apple and paint it melting in space or make it the head of an elephant's body. Shitty Bedford takes that apple, wraps it in tinfoil and starts microwaving it full blast while screaming out saxophone solos over the sparks. And he'll usually be playing the horn behind his back with a handmade mask of your worst and favorite nightmare from third grade sitting atop his head. The music will end, the apple will melt, the mask will speak an unknown language and you'll be a true believer. I needed that type of Shitty vibe and was glad to sit down and ruminate on cats (they'll do what they do) and dogs (if you give them love they'll stay by your side and out of the dumpster) and past shows (that's the one where you lit everything on fire inside of an aquarium while the whole room screamed "HOT SHIT!"). We talked all things Shitty. My heart was lifted considerably.
On new shit: Dead Man's Underwear, Bedford's new-ish band that's performing this Saturday (January 5) at 529, playing electronic versions of old Shitty songs. "I became inspired by Ostrich Von Nipple's making a really amazing cover album of my old music." (Everyone/everything surrounding Shitty is perfectly named). The perfectly named record in question: Ostrich Von Nipple Plays Some Shitty Tunes. Good and wacky covers that made Shitty want to "do a dance version of my songs, which seemed kind of stupid, and kind of still is."
And then he laughs and gives a maniacal Bedford stare and I think of how everything good really is a little stupid. All his work has that energy, the same kind that made trading boogers or sucking on helium balloons so much fun when we were younger. Stupid, yes. Good, yes.
On how Dead Man's Underwear has evolved since playing one of its first shows for Flux Projects last year: "The Flux show had me singing on backing tracks while Sirius Bee and Zopi Kristjanson were dancing and breathing into gas masks. I wanted to and we needed to add more." The live band for this Saturday's show features Shitty on vocals, Sirius Bee on guitar, Ostrich on Bass, and Kristjanson doing vocals.
On Hot Shit! (theater company): A few months back he received "a very generous donation" to start work on a new project. It exploded into a frenzy of writing, casting, scoring, and developing and is in the next stage of building, directing, and rehearsing for the upcoming production titled "Oh! Fearsome Head!"
"For the first time, my limitation was not to work with little but to work with a lot. I had to and was able to do everything."
He has me re-write the title of the play to get the punctuation right. "You gotta go heavy on that stuff," he explains about exclamation points. The online promo for the play has one terrifying photo and not much else. ohfearsomehead.tumblr.com.
It's to be performed at his workspace and he expects the audience to be focused. "If you put seats out people will sit and listen." When asked what it's about, he explains that he "doesn't want to classify it." It will probably be about everything and be completely unbelievable in ways that make perfect sense. He's transforming his space into the perfect set and the cast includes local musicians and artists, many from the Big House and Beep Beep Gallery universe, including Coop Holmes, Madeline Polites (Omelet), Sirius Bee (Omelet), Shaman Kokopelli (Dandyls), Wade Tilton, Claire Reeve, and Kristjanson. Live music accompaniment by the Goons of Waxing Gibbous, r0b0t, Ostrich Von Nipple, and Savage Joe.
On favorite Shit!: Sometimes the Shit takes a moment to sit, and when he does it's at Invent Room Pop. "It is my favorite musical thing in Atlanta. Always fun to watch people squirm and figure what to do with somebody else. The experiment is thoroughly distributed through out the whole system."
The Shit! If you go to Dad's Garage this spring you'll see his set designs for "Apnea." "That's my more professional gig." If you Google "BabeAbility" you'll find three lucky witches (under the tutelage of Kristjanson) smooch his Satanic bottom. If you ask a noise head they'll tell you Omelet and Space Tits (bands that he was a part of) are/were genius. And if you make it to 529 on Saturday you'll feel good about being weird again.
With Bluntfang, Dead Man's Underwear, TV Dinner, and Highlander. $5. 9 p.m. 529.
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Oi! Thanks for the fact-check, Skinhead! It's fixed now.
"Never Surrender" is a Blitz song