Justin Bond’s ‘Lustre’ and Novice Theory in London

Justin Bond in New York I presume

Justin Bond

The hubby and I braved the pesky rain to get our fix of transvestite cabaret, courtesy of Justin Bond and pals at the Soho Theatre last night.

Justin Bond, one half of Kiki and Herb, first entered my radar (gaydar?) thanks to John Cameron Mitchell’s Shortbus. (see video clip here).

He played the madam of this wild DUMBA sex-den which allowed people to get their freakiest of freaks on, while he match-made and sang.

he’s great. Kinda mistake-laden, he nevertheless sang with feeling, gave some cracking insights into her world (“trans people are the closes thing to God because of their potential to be anything”) and reminded me of the difficulty in climbing on a piano elegantly in a mini-skirt when you don’t want anyone to see your crotch.

But it was Novice Theory who blew me the fuck out of my seat and into his arms. Creaking down the theatre’s stairway, accordion in hand and ripped, Oliver Twist-style suit.

Novice Theory is the first of three guests that fill Bond’s Lustre show, and I hadn’t realised they were all trans.

After the show, I bought his CD for a fiver (I never do that!), so smitten was I with his one song, ‘About The Dream’.

The song – pure vocal prowess and accordion made me think of one of my fave films of 2007, Into The Wild (almost ruined by Eddy Vedder’s gross soundtrack) and Ken Loach’s The Wind That Shakes The Barley (2006). The forlorn lyrics, his disheveled alter-ego lost-boy look and the pure acoustics (no mics, just squeezebox and voice) would have been a perfect addition to Into The Wild‘s soundtrack.

Emile Hirsch - Into The Wild

Emile Hirsch - Into The Wild

To see how versatile his style is see The D Word’s three tracks – they couldn’t be more different from the album, ‘In The End We Listen’ which is what I bought and is on his myspace.

He’s a video from Homophonic, talking about Viktor Shklovsky and art as interruption. I can’t embed it so I’ll drive traffic to Homophonic’s site. It’s a really great video.

Novice Theory - H/she misses rap, but his/her accordion playing rules

Novice Theory - H/she misses rap, but his/her accordion playing rules

Oh – and interestingly, Yale-educated Geo Wyeth (aka Novice Theory, former rapper turned everything else really), is also ‘bi-racial’ as his ma was African-American and his dad was white. (I wonder if he’s also Jewish, due to his song Yom Kippur on the album.)

Anyway, in the above video, he discusses it all. It’s a rare example of an in-depth interview and the goddamn opposite of what I had with Joanus Cuaron the other day.

Except that after a great interview, I’ve just noticed that in a performance of the song Vignettes, the bleep out the lyric ‘nigger‘, which is totally unacceptable. You can’t mess with the dude’s art!

Here’s some WAY different recordings of him: http://www.thedword.com/geo.html


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8 Responses to “Justin Bond’s ‘Lustre’ and Novice Theory in London”

  1. Rich Says:

    Geo Wyeth, aka Novice Theory, is a HE, not a she. He’s a female-to-male transexual, as it happens, but that doesn’t make him anything other than a he, not “her”, not “his/her”, not “he/she”, at least in enlightened parts of town.

    I saw the show too and I completely agree Novice Theory was truly outstanding, what an amazing performer. Sadly when I left the show, his was the only pile of CDs which had already sold out on previous nights.

  2. ofilia Says:

    Hey, I’m a know nothing, becoming more ‘enlightened’ every day.

  3. Owen Says:

    I agree, Novice Theory is excellent – saw ‘Lustre’ twice and enjoyed it. Also good to see him on Jools Holland last night. His album is available for download on iTunes.

  4. brooklyn Says:

    now that you know, can you change your previous post, please, to correct Geo’s pronouns?

  5. ofilia Says:


  6. brooklyn Says:

    wow, thanks for making the correction so quickly!

    I also agree that it is wrong to censor Geo’s lyrics. Whoever did it missed the point completely.

    The verse goes something like this:

    “[something] wintery white boy he smokes a ciga
    and he shuffles up and tells me i’m his nigga
    well, no sir, i said, no, not yours, my own
    my skin may be pale but my blood is far from home
    my ancestors spoke from the dead
    they said slap this white boy upside his head
    but we emptied out our nines and bought an ice cream cone
    yeah we emptied out our nines and we went on home”

    Not only did they miss the point but they cause everyone else to miss Geo’s point by taking out the word and theme that the whole verse is addressing!
    Blind and unthinking!

  7. ofilia Says:

    srsly, beautiful lyrics. You know, Geo’s playing on 1st september in Brooklyn: http://www.galapagosartspace.com/events.html

    Incidentally, I moved to Brooklyn in April, lived in Bed-Stuy. On the day I packed up to move home to London in June, Geo cycled down the road with his groceries. We talked abut banjos. Turns out we’d been neighbors. Small, weird world.

  8. bryan kenneth lund Says:

    your sexy justin.

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