Local Legends of the Week: Brooklyn Promoters House of Screwball
We here at BrokeAssStuart.com like to show love to the people who make cities like San Francisco and New York special. This is our chance to hip you to some of the strange, brilliant, and unique folks who populate these towns and give them the character that people from around the world have come to love.
Darcey and Kevin are artists in Bushwick, but they don’t make paintings or sculptures, they create parties and relationships. Under the banner of House of Screwball in Brooklyn, the duo continued their long careers producing events. Darcey has been a promoter for over 18 years. Starting in Boston, and working her way to the scene in Echo Park, Los Angeles. She promoted with Don Bolles, the drummer of the Germs and ran with the L.A. Cacophony Society (Reverend Al and Margaret Cho). She also promoted rock shows, as well as alternative events at the intersection of music, variety, vaudeville, and full of performance art. As Miss Darcey puts it,: “at one of those events, if you don’t like something, just wait, something new and different is coming next.”
The same spirit exists with House of Screwball in New York. Darcey and Keving (DJ Sex Libris) have several monthly events that feature performance art and/or psychic dance parties. They celebrate the interesting, the esoteric, the fun & the talented people of Brooklyn. “Our name Screwball, as Darcey puts it, is reappropriation–a word that is usually used as a negative, like freak or queer. Our parties, says Kevin, are like a beacon to the weird and wonderful people and performers, who have interesting and unique things to share.”
What makes a great show?
Darcey: “We like to use what we call high energy personalities, along with musical acts, but always leaving room for people to socialize and space where people can hear each other talk…We also like to have an MC or a host, an emotional caretaker of the party, someone who can facilitate a community to feel the event, and help to create something meaningful and lasting.”
Kevin: “For example, our art cult friends Wild Torus, will take string and wrap up everyone standing in the audience together. It’s a physical representation of what we are figuratively trying to do, which is bring people together”
What types of shows do you guys like to put on?
Darcey: “Right now we have a bit of a ying and a yang with our monthly shows. Our Yang is Circus of Dreams. It’s performance art and a variety show on acid, hosted by performer and internet sensation Matthew Silver. Our ying is the Tarot Society, which is a salon-style event with tarot readings, astrology, and palm readings, as well as live ambient music”
Favorite Eats: Bunna Café & Mominette.
Favorite Bar: Happyfun Hideaway. It’s a great neighborhood bar, comfortable and not phony.
Favorite Book Store: Catland.
Favorite Museum: Brooklyn Museum. The Neue Galerie.
Favorite Art Cult: Wild Torus.
Favorite Free Thing to Do: Walking through graveyards.
I asked Darcey what it’s like working as a woman in a traditionally male-dominated music industry:
Darcey: I have to work a lot harder than my male counterparts, and as I get older I see less and less female promoters. I have to get to a point where I’m perceived as a business equal and not a groupie. I had to bro-down, I had to figure out how to play the patriarchal game. There’s a cultural discomfort with female assertion, people jump to calling it aggression when a female asserts themselves. When I’m doing my job as a producer and have to tell everyone what to do.. too often I get called out for being bossy or for people not liking my tone. I don’t just have to achieve the same thing a man has to achieve, I have to achieve it in a certain way…men are judged by their performance, but as a woman I am judged first and foremost on my character AND THEN my performance.”
What’s Bushwick like, is it gentrified?
Darcey: “Bushwick is at its apex right now. Things move really fast in New York but right now Bushwick hasn’t become overly gentrified or touristy. It has a west coast vibe, an open-minded community, and an interest in the esoteric. Diversity and gender fluidity and a culture of acceptance. There’s an incredible drag renaissance, which is less about being pretty and more about being ‘you’.
House of Screwball’s Next great events is October 25th!
It’s the SEASON OF THE WITCH and we’re celebrating all things witchy! The House of Screwball presents TWO EVENTS: a lecture with the author of Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll at Catland and a performance art variety show and dance party at Secret Project Robot.
A Talk with Peter Bebergal, author of the new book
Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Saturday October 25th from 2-4pm at Catland,
987 Flushing Ave. $7-13 and $7 reduced admission to the afterparty.Books available for purchase and signing.
SEASON OF THE WITCH HALLOWEEN PARTY!
at Secret Project Robot Art Experiment, 7pm – 2am
DJ Damian (Buddies/The Eagle/Metropolitan)
DJ Sex Libris (House of Screwball)
LE SPHINXX (Blue Rose Coven)
Monsterland Art Show
Performance Art Variety show with:
Queen Amor (Witchy Woman),
The Glitter Twins,
Victoria the Kitchen Witch,
Annie Doran (puppet show),
Jane Le Croy,
GoGo Grrl – Witch Barbie
TAROT SOCIETY readers;
Bruno Coviello, Molly Burkett, Homospicious NY and Denora Indigo Crystal,
Body painted skeletons,
Hosted by Miss Darcey Leonard
SPECIAL $7 advance tix – $13 day of the show:
SECRET PROJECT ROBOT IS LOCATED IN BUSHWICK
AT 389 MELROSE ST
BETWEEN KNICKERBOCKER AND FLUSHING/IRVING
MORGAN OR JEFFERSON L
Photo Credit: houseofscrewball.com