PÚBLICO: Weird Rachel Arieff

Original article: http://akm.www.publico.es/culturas/musica/rara-rachel-arieff-rara.html

Weird Rachel Arieff

The artist returns to Madrid with her ‘Anti-Karaoke’ // In March she presents ‘Cómo ser feliz todo el tiempo’ in Barcelona

For those that have experienced Anti-Karaoke in the flesh, the show and its mistress of ceremonies, Rachel Arieff, need no further introduction. For those that haven’t, I have just one recommendation: go! The public has a new opportunity tomorrow in Madrid, in the El Sol club. One will never see so many freakies and long-hairs together, singing rock and pop songs from every era in front of an audience that suddenly becomes a family for a few hours.

The creator of the show, Rachel Arieff, a type of underground cabaret artist, brought her comic sensibilities honed during 10 years of practice on the mean streets of the U.S.A. to Barcelona. She came for a vacation, and ended up staying.

From Britney to Sinatra

Since then, Barcelona is the headquarters of the radiation that Rachel emits from under her decadent, exaggerated appearance. Her acid sense of humor — outrageous and impolite — is especially pronounced in her antikaraokian parodies of celebrities from Britney Spears to Madonna.

Her favorite identity? “I like the Duquesa de Alba character a lot. She’s like something from the beyond; something not quite human. She’s science fiction, she’s punk rock. In the show she always sings the Sex Pistols: they go very well together!” Between parodies, amateur singers perform the great hits.

Imagine the most surreal moments of Operación Triunfo [the Spanish version of American Idol] casting sessions, mixed with the allure of pop-rock classics. The result are clubs increasingly filled to capacity, increasingly expensive drinks, and side-splitting laughs in an extravagant show that Rachel created to rescue karaoke from mundanity and tackiness. “Anti-Karaoke has some the elements of karaoke — a microphone and music, but it’s more of a vaudeville show. It’s a presentation of personalities. The show is successful because the people that attend enjoy the experience of performing, and we create a comfortable atmosphere for people to sing.”

Humor is in style

While comedy clubs sprout everywhere in our theaters and on television, Rachel distills her own savage style of humor exported directly from the wilds of America, free of artificial additives or sweeteners to adapt it to the Mediterranean context. “I’m a comic, not an actress. I’ve spent ten years writing the material I perform; no one does my writing or performing for me”.


The disciplines of Rachel Arieff

Cinematic productions like “One Funny Bitch”, “Flushed”, and “Clockstoppers” have put her on the silver screen.

Before “Cómo ser feliz todo el tiempo” [in Madrid] was Anti-Karaoke — which will celebrate its first anniversary tomorrow in Madrid. These shows were preceded by “Festival Open Mic” and a fruitful career in the USA.

Bizarre videos and a CD sharing the same name as her show [“How to Be Happy All the Time] round out the comic career of the inimitable Rachel Arieff.

Esmeralda Martín – Madrid