Performance artist, songwriter, classically trained harpist, circus sideshow veteran, and transgender street legend Baby Dee was born in 1953 in Cleveland, OH. She spent ten years as music director and organist for a Catholic church in the Bronx before joining the circus as the bilateral hermaphrodite at Coney Island. This landed her a gig as the bandleader for performance art group the Bindlestiff Family Circus and a tour with the Kamikaze Freak Show in Europe. After moving back to New York City, she became a fixture in lower Manhattan with a street act on a high-rise tricycle with a concert harp. She recorded her first record, Little Window, on the Durtro label in 2000, a four-track EP in 2001, and her second full-length, the double-disc Love's Small Song, in 2002. Dee returned to Ohio during the latter record's recording, taking vows as a novitiate of the Little Sisters of Crabby Doom (a Cleveland-based order dedicated to the care of smelly old men), vows that she has since forsaken. For her third full-length recording, Dee recruited a typically eclectic army of fellow musicians, including Will Oldham, Andrew W.K., Robbie Lee, Max Moston (Antony and the Johnsons), Bill Breeze (Psychic TV), John Contreras (Current 93), James Lo (Chavez), and Lia Kessel. The resulting Safe Inside the Day arrived in January 2008 on Drag City Records.
"A SHORT AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SOMETHING WRITTEN ON THE OCCASION OF THE COMPLETION OF THE ALBUM SAFE INSIDE THE DAY FOR DRAG CITY. I was born in Cleveland Ohio. This album is very much about the street I grew up on. Where The Earlie King ruled without mercy. And Bobby Slot and Freddy Weiss invented the Dance of Diminishing Possibilities. I left for New York in 1972 and eventually became a musician. I was good at the sacred and I was good at the profane but I could never get the hang of anything in between and I went from the street to the church to the street again and then I stopped. I found myself back in Cleveland and began to write songs. And then I stopped writing songs. I thought I had said everything I had to say and there was nothing left to say so I simply stopped. And then I remembered Bobby Slot and Freddy Weiss and my own father and all the little ghosts that lived with us and I realized that there was something left to say after all. The inside is bigger than the outside, more important, and less destructible. “ Many mansions” and all that. Kingdom of god. I love everybody" — Dee
Arianna Sykes, originally from NC, played mostly keyboard-driven music in parks and produced experimental/ritual theatre in the late 1990's. Upon buying a Kay acoustic/electric guitar and moving to Atlanta, she performed as Teravioles with vocalist Adeeba Lodhi from 2000-2003, and solo with bands assembled on the spot after that. Her current "Found Objects of Desire" are earthy, watery, bluesy, and percussive open story songs, with multi-instrumentalist/producer Melissa Lonely, cellist Becca B, and varying local musicians. Bring your sailors, sirens, masks, and percussion to play along.