kyle cassidy (kylecassidy) wrote,
kyle cassidy

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Nicole Blackman is Alive Inside

At some point someone cooler than me gave me a copy of Nicole Blackman's book Blood Sugar and it was the book I'd been looking for my entire adult life. Here I thought, is my Sylvia Plath, the voice of this time. She told stories of people in empty rooms and city streets, of crippling relationships, where love is militarized, of people filled with the empty spaces left in them by the absence of someone else.
         I am part of a small story
         in a big house
         a damaged messenger
         who lost her credibility.

I devoured this book and later discovered, probably at Blaxx or Zipperhead or one of the stores on South Street back when it was something other than a Little Mardi Gras, that Nicole Blacman was the vocalist for the Golden Palominos (and later, occasionally, KMFDM) This CD, Dead Inside, is $7 as a digital download from Amazon, you should get it and I discovered that when you put her record on at a party everybody thought you were one of the really cool people who Knew Something They Didn't. Nicole Blackman was a secret

Click to go to, you can read much of the book in the preview, it's out of print and used copies are all like $100.

Her web presence was cryptic. She'd be interviewed in strange magazines you'd never heard of, that you could only get on South Street, that were done in all black and white and the photo reproduction was terrible but you'd go out and try and find all the bands they interviewed and it would open up your whole world because you'd never heard anything like this.

Nicole Blackman fell off my radar in the early 2000's, only to reappear when the Village Voice did an article about her new show, The Courtisan Tales. She was, it said, weary of doing shows for huge audiences. This show was done one on one. Audience members were blindfolded, led into a room, sat in a chair, and Nicole would come in, whisper a story in your ear, and leave. It was a leap into an extra dimension for me.

When we did the Big Book of Who Killed Amanda Palmer I brought Dead Inside with me and I listened to it over and over that week, looking for an inspiration to make things different and I thanked Nicole in the credits, although I'd never met her and really didn't know anything about her.

About three years later someone forwarded me a Twitter message, from Nicole Blackman, who I didn't even know as on Twitter. "Who's Kyle Cassidy?" It said, "and why did he thank me in the credits of Who Killed Amanda Palmer?" So I wrote back and introduced myself and tried not to fanboi too much. I sent her links to things I'd done and said "You know, I have an idea for a Top Sekret Projekt" -- she said it sounded like a good one.

We decided to meet up at the Amanda Palmer show in New York and talk about it. And we met up and she was marvelous and ... there may be a Top Sekret Projekt in the works.

And in the meantime ... if you're living your life right, eventually all your idols will gravitate to your living room....

Nicole Blackman
New York, 2012

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