I’ve interviewed some pretty amazing performers over the years – Jill Sobule, Mary Gauthier, …I’m even in the midst of an interview with Rick Springfield. But when the chance came for me to nab an exclusive with Dicey Stewart and Paprika LaRue, I dropped everything, let out a primal scream and immediately broke out some of my best aging lesbian dance moves. This has been MY DREAM INTERVIEW since I first saw Dicey and Paprika perform in 2009 – a show that changed my entire life.
What happens when you mix a hard-drinking cougar with a crowd filled with lesbians? Bedazzle.
Last night, an artist looked into my soul and shared my life with the world. It was like she took all my blog posts and read each one aloud. Strumming my life on her ukelele.
Ledcat and I stopped in Your Inner Vagabond for a cup of java and some baklava. We came away with our entire reality reinterpreted and a new blueprint for our future. Together. United against all the odds. In a cold world that fails to provide health insurance for a sequin stitcher temporarily blinded by her work.
Just her and I.
Toss in a little sunshine next to that cougar and you get Dicey Stewart and Paprika LaRue who kept us glued to our cushions at YIV last night with a spellbinding performance fusing the Love Boat showcase lounge with $1 martini night at the local karaoke bar. Bedazzle.
A photo that I treasure is this candid shot of Ledcat yukking it up with Paprika after that glorious performance several years ago. I have to confess that I have a little lady crush on Paprika. If she wore lesbian glasses, I’d probably be a bit verklempt.
Tell me about your first visit to Pittsburgh and your most vivid impression of our City.
D: My first visit was in 2003 when we were invited to perform at the Allentown Flux event. Because of my interest in the power of shapes in our lives, I was stunned to find there was a place called The Golden Triangle! They had to pull me away from my meditation there.
P: I came with Dicey, as always her interest in the ethereal goes over my head. I just wanted a chance to dance in the city where Flashdance was filmed.
Are there any Pittsburgh performers (based here or born here) that influence you?
P: What about Gene Kelly? If he were around I’m sure he’d be in awe of my improvisational dance leaps.
D: I was always mesmerized by Perry Como’s meditative state. I think he was from somewhere nearby.
Paprika, you instruct students in the art of dance. Do their parents actually pay you or is something you do as an extension of your art? How could someone sign up for your classes?
P: You better believe they pay me, but that doesn’t mean it ain’t art, honey! As for signing up, my dance improv movement creationalism classes are highly sought after and via invitational audition only.
Dicey, what drew you to the kazoo? Is there a Pittsburgh kazoo master?
D: Thank you for asking. So many people underestimate the kazoo, but for me it’s the perfect extension of my soul. I breathe in the breaths of so many highly evolved humans (Gandhi, for example) and when I play the kazoo, I am more or less sending Gandhi (and others) through this instrument. What could be more beautiful?
This week, I’m interviewing Rick Springfield – a talented songwriter in his own right. What advice do you have for Rick who performs Friday night in Homestead.
D: Well, Rick and I have a history that I don’t want to go into here, but my basic advice (and I’ve told him this to his face) is to keep stretching beyond what people expect of you.
P: Get as far away from Jesse’s girl as you can.
Also interviewing Kathi Wilcox for The Julie Ruin – tell me how Dicey and Paprika have impacted Riot Grrl music both in the formative years during the early 1990’s and today as the Riot Grrls hit their 40s and 50s.
D: I think of Paprika and myself as the original Riot Grrls. We have always been a few steps ahead of trends in every way and we integrated driving rock tunes into our sets from early on. Plus, it’s really about attitude now, isn’t it? We refuse to be pigeon-holed, just like the Riot Grrls. Not to give too much away, but I think fans of Riot Grrls will be happy to hear one of the newest songs D&P have added to their line-up.
P: Sometimes Dicey puts it so much better than me – it’s all that practice she has sputtering her karmic doctrine. I would just add, you may want to ask Kathi how Dicey and Paprika impacted her formative years.
Who was the first LGBTQ person that you met and how did that impact you?
D: I can’t remember if I met Paul Lynde or Joan Jett first. They both had a big impact on me. Paul and I shared the same spiritual teacher out in California and as you can imagine we had a lot of very deep conversations. And Joan Jett, well it was the way she spiked her hair that really changed my world.
P: There’s been so many in no way would I want to narrow it to just a few.
Do you have an active LGBTQ fan base? Any great stories?
P: Since our beginning the LGBTQ have been with us and keep on growing. They’re the best!
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character in television, film or literature?
P: Liberace – he was one character.
D: I never choose favorites, but Paprika makes a good point – Liberace really knew how to use the sparkle.
What is one simple thing a reader can do to support the LGBTQ community?
P: Stand up and DANCE for what you believe.
Thank you, ladies, for making time to share your thoughts with our readers. We are very much looking forward to your show Saturday night.
Saturday, February 22, Dicey and Paprika bring their “Nobody Does It Better” tour for a one-night only performance at Club Cafe on the South Side (6 PM Doors/7 PM Show) The performance is 21 and over. Tickets still available – only $10!
This is the hardest part. I have to pick just one of their YouTube performances for this post. You must swear on the life of your own inner dove that you will subscribe to their channel and watch all of the videos. I think this was from the 2009 show that I saw. One can only hope.
I’ll post my review next week. After I recover.