Wednesday, May 29, 2013


what it is: thoth
where i found it: 125th St., originally

Back around the change of the millenium I used to see this guy on 125th street in Harlem named Thoth who dressed like a native villager, played violin, sang opera in a self-invented language and did a weird dances that made the bells around his ankles jingle in rhythm. They don't let street performers do their thing on 125th anymore (including the Black Hebrew Israelites, who dressed up like unique superheroes and yelled insults at nearly everyone walking by) and the last time I saw Thoth I was sharing a bill with him in the early 2000s at a preposterously booked children's music festival where my free jazz band was playing. Who books Thoth and long form absurdist free jazz at a children's music festival? At any rate, I was in a tunnel in Central Park this weekend with my kid and there was Thoth, only this time he had an albino woman with him, also with ankle bells, violin and an equally operatic soprano howl. Even my four year old formed an immediate opinion, yelling out "they are ridiculous!" at too loud of a volume.
When I brought this up to a friend, he filled me in on recent Thoth goings on - he was the star of an Oscar winning documentary and even appeared on America's Got Talent only to be cruelly ridiculed by David Hasselhoff, who was drunk and eating a cheeseburger off the floor with his little daugther last time I saw him.