It's hard not to compare twisted tutu to Laurie Anderson. Like Anderson, tutu -- the duo of composer/vocalist Eve Beglarian and keyboardist Kathleen Supove -- uses hyper-rational technology to express the soupy contradictions of the unconscious. Neo-Fluxus, you could say; even part of the "tradition" of late 20th-century performance art.
The work is more cerebral than sensual, more about thoughts than the spaces those thoughts inhabit. Admittedly, sensuality plays a role: Beglarian's blessed with a powerful, throaty rock-and-roll voice, and tutu makes ample use of props such as candles and video screens. But tutu's material is decidedly highbrow, more New Yorker than Goo Goo Dolls. In recent years, for instance, its signature piece has been No Man's Land, a meditation on a New York street corner written specifically for tutu by Janet Malcolm.
The band's new performance, How Do You Make A Watch Go?, ransacks music history and comes up with a wide array of sonic oddities: traditional songs, spoken-word narratives and music written by and for twisted tutu. During the duo's Houston shows, they'll perform, among other things, sound poetry written in the 1920s by German artist Kurt Schwitters; a song whose lyrics are derived from the instructions on a tea bag; "Play Nice," a piece written for two toy pianos; Randall Woolf's "One Tough Lama"; and Beglarian's own "Toy Boy/Boy Toy," music she describes as her "response to really fast techno-boy music."
Twisted tutu will perform at DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway, on Friday, January 29, and Saturday, January 30. Both performances are at 8:00 p.m. $15, $10 students and seniors.