PRINT Summer 2000



You may not actually have known any of the songs, but with their pleasingly familiar New Romantic techno-pop beat, you felt like you should. In any case, by the time you filed out of Gavin Brown’s Fifteenth Street gallery—filled to capacity for every performance of Fischerspooner’s five-night run—you were more than ready to shell out twenty bucks for the CD. And weeks later, it has become your sound track. Every time “Fucker” or “Invisible” comes on you’re back in the strobe-lit, sweaty heaven of Fischerspooner’s synching and dancing extravaganza.

Transformed by black fabric and a series of catwalk-like risers that brought the performers up close, the tiny gallery provided the backdrop for the high artifice of Fischerspooner’s parody of glam-rock stardom. Performers lip-synched to the words of front man Casey Spooner, who levels any remains of the fourth wall with his feigned unpreparedness, like wondering aloud which song is next. FS clearly enjoy toying with audience expectations and perceptions of the group’s legitimacy, but with members like Warren Fischer, a classically trained musician who provides the dense aural layering of synthesizers and samples, and Jordana Toback, who created the aggressively robotic choreography, the group’s talent is impossible to disguise.

Even more impressive is FS’s success in skirting the stifling art-world ban on fun and sexiness. Dancers gyrated in minimal coverage and fishnets to one pouty number, “Turn On,” which includes declarations of being “hot” and descriptions of ready “pink flesh,” recalling the raunchy New Wave lyrics of Berlin’s “Sex.” The sauciness is part of the reason their act has gained such momentum—that and the appeal of the increasingly complex game of connecting the dots between FS’s disparate pop-culture references. So far the costume codex includes Xena: Warrior Princess leatherwear meets punk: fur and spandex; white-trash mullet haircuts; wigs; and makeup. Add to this a dash of early Bowie as well as smatterings of A Flock of Seagulls and Depeche Mode. It’s impossible to know what or when Fischerspooner’s next incarnation will be, but until then we’ll keep the CD in permanent rotation.

Meghan Dailey is a writer living in New York.