composer, singer, songwriter

Removable Parts preview in the Toronto Star

limbOut on a Limb
by John Terauds
published in the Toronto Star, December 5, 2008

Of all the show titles to cause a double take, Removable Parts: A Series of Love Songs About Voluntary Amputation, has to be among the most provocative.

The lyrics brim with phrases such as “You’ll be hooked for life / I’ll wrap my hooks around you,” as someone sings a love song about replacing hands with metal prostheses.

This performance-art piece – 12 songs strung together with a bit of dialogue and choreography – by Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter/music producer Corey Dargel is truly unlike anything you’ve seen or heard before. Only one 1960s precedent comes to mind: Tom Lehrer’s “Masochism Tango.”

Dargel’s twisted imagination makes love out of wanting to sever parts of one’s body. Although it sounds too weird to be palatable, reviewers in New York have gushed at the inventiveness and cheek of this one-hour show, which includes American pianist Kathleen Supove.

The music is pure art-pop-meets-cabaret, in a mix of acoustic and electronic sounds.

When you think about all of the poets who have lamented that losing a loved one is like having their heart torn out, perhaps Dargel’s dark imaginings are not so far-fetched after all.