Moon Baby Drops New Single ‘Maralago,’ Says ‘It’s difficult to choose compassion”

Maralago Moon Baby

I listened to the second single from the moon baby’s new EP and was enchanted. I don’t really know them very well, but I am one part of a performance art piece with moon’s friend and collaborator, Josie aka Princess Jafar. So I’m paying closer attention to what moon has to say. And, graciously, she agreed to an email interview. Let me insert something edityish here – moon is a sweet gem for not giving me any guff about reponding via email over a weekend. She’s a classy dame for being respectful of my constraints and I really appreciate that about any local artist. Don’t ever lost touch with local media.

I don’t really know a lot about this type of music, why pretend otherwise? I don’t go to many drag or queer performance shows because I need to keep a consistent sleep schedule and can’t stay up that late. I don’t particularly like electronica or dissonant music because it gets into my head and taps into hypomanic tendrils just waiting to wrap themselves around my sanity. I’m not really the target for this album or moon’s art. But of course I’m the target because we are sisters and siblings in this struggle, even if I’m sleeping by 11 and she’s going on stage at 1 AM. I read the lyrics and listen to the music at home. I think about it and I ask questions. And I probably made assumptions about my affinity for the moon baby that I need to reexamine.

Maralago might be the resistance tune you’ve been hoping to hear. After you listen, listen again and then watch for the performance art element when boxes of cereal (get it? think about it again) are distributed in Pittsburgh stores. Then listen to other music from moon.

God, I love people who make me think.

Please describe your identity. I am a genderqueer artist from Pittsburgh.

Your Pronouns. Non-committal.

The lyric ‘boys like you hurt girls like me’ really struck me, as if you are flipping the Trump/Pence defensive desperate cling to a binary world on its head to illustrate how they are a threat to all of us who are not white cis het Christian men. Am I reaching? Not at all. And I take on a different voice in that moment, a sort of petty, conversational tone. It’s that duality that these are such school yard games, like Trump’s Twitter rants, but words carry weight no matter how childish they are.

I read a reference to your previous single describing you as putting less importance on lyrics and more on delivery. “It’s about feeling more than reasoning.” How can delivery and feeling help save the world from a Presidency that seems to use the same approach to pretty much everything? First of all, I thought that specific idea in the review was wrong. Words are powerful, they convey intent. But to answer your question, I think that our delivery as queer people, i.e. our queerness, is an unstoppable and unique power. The Presidency, on the other hand, that man does not have a unique bone in his body and that is why he won, because white cis het men flock to one another, fear women, and use fear as currency. “Feeling” to me, which I would take as “intent” in this conversation, well that is compassion. That is soft power and tenderness. And it’s a difficult head space for me-it’s difficult to choose compassion when lives are threatened and gunned down, and I think that’s why I’m so angry. Because by making compassion my second priority, by causing me to carry a knife and not talk to my parents out of survival, you’re stifling me in a way.

This summer, our mutual friend Josie aka Princess Jafar, convinced me to give them a dollar in exchange for a photo of you that I carry around in my purse, taking random photos. And I’ve been doing it, although I think the photo of is now lost on my coffee table amidst old copies of the New York Times, Bitch Magazine and AARP solicitations. Am I doing it right? Yes and it warms my hurt to see the photo travelling around-especially because you go to all the best events that I can’t make it to. Moon baby absolutely belongs coffee stained and rolling around in someone’s purse, rough around the edges from going show to show. You and I have been on quite a bender.

When I first heard of ‘Mar-a-lago,’ I was pretty sure it was either a long forgotten Catskills resort or a racist homage to a Gilded Age heiress. Bingo. You plan to incorporate cereal boxes with prizes into a performance art component of this project. Who wins – the person who digs right into the box to find the prize or the person who patiently eats bowl after bowl until the prize is revealed? The person who digs right in. If you eat bowl after bowl of MaraLago cereal, I will be visiting you in the hospital. It’s just sand.

Are you going to complete the AMPLIFY Q&A? Yes haha. I have attempted completing it 3 times now, get to a question I need to sit on, and have to wait. I’ve gotten better at meditating, the Amplify Q&A is in my sights.

What’s coming up on your performance schedule? I have a show called Dumpy Trash at the Pines every Sunday and once a month I throw a party through my new venture, Hated Inc. LLC called Bathhouse Betty at Hot Mass to fulfill my obligations as the current reigning Miss Club Pittsburgh.

How can people connect with you via social media? I am on Instagram and Twitter @themoonbaby, Snapchat theonlymoonbaby, facebook.com/iam themoonbaby and you can find me on Swarm holding mayorships all over America.

Where can folks buy your album and/or other Moon Baby schwag? Dragqueenmerch.com has moon baby merchandise. My most recent album, Hollywood Killed Tara Reid, can be purchased on iTunes and the new EP, Barbara will be available there as well. Everything is streamable on Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music, and Napster.

What is your love song to today’s LGBTQ youth? Loving You by Minnie Ripperton

What else would you like to share with my readers? Support one another. Making MaraLago and it’s artwork has been amazing lifting up other voices and perspectives in our amazing city: the make-up work of Karmageddon, the styling of J. Barlow, the clothing of Elaine Healy, the photography of Ryan Michael White, and the design of Zach Hill. Lastly, if I find out you voted for someone other than me to win Best Hair in the Pittsburgh City Paper annual Reader’s Poll you better stay away from my shows.