Back On The Grid
Dynasty Handbag is Trying to Get Her Shit Together
Photo by Andrew Laumann
Oh great, another weird-looking female doing funny/confrontational performance-art-type music, right? No, seriously. It is great. What, anything “shades of Peaches” is automatically out? So just because one dwarfish French-Canadian lady rapped about her pubes, no girl is ever allowed to do something funny and creative on a stage by herself?
Put it this way, what would you rather see at a show: Four guys with complementary haircuts and a girl on bass shimmy-stepping around their personal areas onstage? Or one girl in funny makeup and blousy Annie Hall clothes being told she’s pregnant, then going home to her new baby, which is a lightbulb in a plastic bag that blinks when it talks and that drags her into its baby nightmares then begins criticizing her (and also it talks with a midwestern accent)?
We would choose the latter even if she was raised by hippies and stole her name from an SNL sketch, which, in the case of Dynasty Handbag, it turns out she was and she didn’t, respectively.
Vice: What’s the deal with you and the Dynasty Handbag guy on Saturday Night Live?
Jibz Cameron (Dynasty Handbag): Basically, SNL just started using my name about a year and a half ago. I was taking a class at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater, and my teacher was this really nice guy who’s friends with a lot of SNL people. I asked him about it, sort of naively, like, “I’ve been doing Dynasty Handbag for a while, and it’s such a weird name, I don’t know how they’d come up with it on their own.” And he said, “Oh, they steal everything. They just go through the internet and find people who are doing cool stuff in rural wherever and take their ideas.”
They’re comedy jocks. It’s like grabbing your soda in high school, “Well, I’m taking it—what are you going to do about it?”
Right. I wrote them a cease-and-desist letter. It’s just too close to home. I mean, I’ve had this name for almost six years and it’s not like I’m running a porcelain-design company making little Dynasty Handbag fiberglass unicorn statuettes or something—I do comedy/performance-type shit. A lot of people were like, “You should make them cast you!” But I don’t want to be on that fucking bozo show.
You had not the most average upbringing in terms of where you lived and that sort of thing. Do you want to talk about that?
Well, my folks never really got their shit together. My dad’s passed away, but he was a drug addict trying to run away from his WASP-y family. He and my mom met on a commune full of weird, arty, Merry Prankster types.
What all did they do?
They just did drugs. They also had a lot of illegitimate children running around, all dirty and half-related to each other. I have like 20 half-half-half brothers and sisters and I know all of them. We would be really broke—like no-food-in-the-house broke—then all of a sudden my dad would get a check from somewhere and we’d go get a new car and eat Yorkshire pudding with all these bearded people. Then just as quickly we’d be back on welfare and my mom would have to scam the government for money.
So they were fuckup hippies, not those caring, put-together “We stopped the war” hippies they always have in Volkswagen commercials.
I think they were just rebelling against the hard-core discipline they’d grown up with and decided that no discipline was the answer. I understand the intention, but then you wind up with kids like me who don’t have a birth certificate.
You don’t have a birth certificate?
I didn’t for a long time. I had to go through all this crazy shit to find it and when I finally did, it was all lies. Everything was completely falsified. It sucks when you’re trying to get your life together and you have no direction because everyone you grew up around was trying to be off the grid. I just wanted to be good at filing taxes, you know?
Dynasty Handbag’s debut album, Foo Foo Yik Yik, is out now on Lovepump United. And hey, you should also go to dynastyhandbag.com right now and check out the video for “Soup Eyes.” If you don’t think it’s hilarious/amazing, you are never allowed to be our friend.
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