Friday, October 21, 2016

"A Rogue's Gallery of Fabulous Phreaks" at Spirit! Also, we're making a Social Justice Disco album!

Phriends! It's terrifying out there! I suggest you come on in and get phreaky with some prophessionals! 

This Sunday October 23, 2016
9 PM at This Sunday at Spirit in Lawrenceville
242 51st Street, Pittsburgh, PA
Phat Man Dee (that's me!) with The Cultural District featuring:
Carlos Peña, Miguel Sague III and Langston Kelly
also showcasing:
and my dear sweet husband's old fashioned future rawk band
$7 before 10pm; $10 after

On Sunday October 29, 2016 I will be singing with Pastor Deryck Tines and the Lemington Gospel Chorale at Ebenezer Baptist Church, 2001 Wylie Ave, Pittsburgh, PA
Here's is a picture I shot of Pastor Tines when we sang at Monumental Baptist last month! 
Look at that man's smile! You should hear him sing! 

And I am thrilled to announce that one of my facebook April Fool's Day joke is ACTUALLY COMING TRUE!
Here is a small sampling of the jokes I made on April Fool's Day this year on my facebook page:

“OMG OMG OMG SO EXCITED!!! The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust just called me and said they ACCEPTED my proposal to host Isaly's chipped ham wrestling at PPG Wintergarten during the Three Rivers Arts Festival! Slippy the Clown (aka David Gruen) will be doing color commentary as I square off with Bill Peduto!!!!” 

and “What an incredible day! Tom Savini just called me and said he was asked to do special effects for me in a new documentary zombie bio pic about me playing the role of Zoe Saldana playing Nina Simone in a new musical production called "I've Got You Under My Skins”!!!!” 

and “Very excited to announce that Wendy Bell has agreed to wrestle me in Ramen noodles for a spectacular gala event and fundraiser, and all the money raised will be donated to Whaats Up Pittsburgh!!!” 

AND finally : “I am so excited to announce mine and Liz Berlin's new social justice disco album!!! We will be reworking Woody Guthrie's classic works like "All You Fascists Are Bound for Hell" and Anne Feeney's "Have You been to jail for justice?" into high energy dance anthems, backed by the fusion force of Rusted Root and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra!”

WHICH ONE DO YOU THINK IS COMING TRUE????? If you guessed me wrestling with Wendy Bell in a pool of Ramen Noodles....YOU WOULD BE VERY WRONG.....In fact, Liz Berlin and I have been working on a new recording project, not with Rusted Root or the Pittsburgh Symphony, but with each other! She and I have been friends for many years and I have been working for her non profit Creative Life Support for several years now as a vocal coach with students from the Allegheny County foster care system. When I tagged her in the facebook post, she was like "you know that sounds like a cool thing, we should do it!!!" and that is one of the many reasons I adore her, she could be doing a million zillion things at once, building a theater, touring with her platinum selling band, taking her side project to SXSW, teaching kids, raising her own kid, running a staff of interns who are learning the music business and she's just like "oh yeah, that sounds awesome, sure we'll do that too!" and so we've been in the studio at Mr Small's Recording and Mastering Studio in the Northside, working with some of my musicians and some of hers and we are really excited to announce that we will be digitally releasing one of them, "Fourth Reich Arising" on Halloween, Monday October 31, 2016 at the Acousticafé Open Stage at the Funhouse at Mr Smalls. We will be featured performers that night and we will do 3 selections from our new project "Social Justice Disco, Songs to Fight Fascists By"! I will send another email to my list soon about how to buy the first new single when it's released that day, and as well about the IndieGogo campaign we will be running to help us cover the expenses of recording it. It's gonna be an amazing project and I want you to know about it, but I also wanted you to have a little time to plan to come to the single release event and celebrate with us if you can make it! 
The Funhouse at Mr Smalls is located at 400 Lincoln Ave, Millville, PA 
No cover, sign up to perform between 6-7 pm
We'll go on somewhere in there....I don't know when, come here some local musicians and celebrate our magical musical scene! 
Here's a nice picture we shot the last time we sang together on the opening weekend of The Funhouse at Mr Smalls! 
Seriously, how can you say no to these faces???? You can't. You can try, but it's not recommended. We're making songs to fight fascists by. You know you want in.... I will tell you how, soon.....

I also wish to thank you if you voted the Pittsburgh City Paper's Best of Pittsburgh Readers' Poll this year, I was voted in by the readership as #1 Best Local Jazz/ Blues Act in Pittsburgh. I am deeply humbled and will do my best to live up to the belief you have in me. I am still learning, still studying the great musical legacy we are blessed to have in Pittsburgh, rich with incredible jazz musicians and I will continue my journey to be worth of their company and musicianship. 
photo by Edward Pinto, shot at the Best of Pittsburgh City Paper party 2016! 

Stay safe, stay loved, it's crazy out there. Don't be afraid. Make sure to vote. Ferreals. In the words of my friends at B-PEP "WE VOTE IN EACH AND EVERY ELECTION, NUMBERS COUNT!" 
If you wish to get more involved in assisting with Election Protection and bearing witness at the polls, please call 1-866-687-8683 

Much love, much respect, I am always yours, Phat Man Dee

Friday, September 2, 2016

"Oh it's a long long while....

from May to December.... but the daze grow short, when you reach September"
And the sweet lyrics of Maxwell Anderson mean as much today as when Kurt Weill put them to music in 1938. My favorite version will always be Billy Eckstein's.  Here is a link to hear his incredible performance:

For me.... I hope I get some precious daze with you sometime soon.
My shows that I have lined up are very exciting and I am thrilled to share them with you!

Sunday September 11, 2016, doors at 12 pm, show at 1 pm 
James Street Speakeasy and Gastropub, 422 Foreland St, Pittsburgh 
Get your tickets before they sell out! I am simply thrilled to be part of this wonderful event and can't wait to croon on stage with these legendary performers! Come cheer on our Golden Legend Champion Challenge 2016 program participants as they compete for the title of Golden Legend Champion! More about the organization: Golden Legend Champion Challenge is the ultimate show and competition hybrid that brings Living Legends of burlesque and up-and-coming burlesque performers together in a mentoring program that benefits all involved. Each of the selected proteges will be paired with a Legend from whom to receive one-on-one mentoring in preparation for the challenge. Legends are presented with the opportunity to help mold and nurture emerging burlesque performers. Each pair has the chance to bond in a way unique to Golden Legends, with the end goal of enhancing performance skills and making lifelong friendships worth their weight in gold. 

Age Limit: 21+   Tickets: $25 general admission - $90 reserved table for 4 - $150 Golden Reserved VIP Table for 4 with many perks! 

Friday September 16, 2016, 5 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. 
623 Smithfield Street, downtown, Pittsburgh

I am so excited to be singing with my band The Cultural District, Carlos Peña (guitar), Dwayne Dolphin (bass) and Miguel Sague III (conga/vox) as part of the opening reception for the juried exhibition of the ReNEW Festival! This exhibit features works by 21 artists from Southwestern PA that incorporate creative reuse or themes of sustainability or transformation. The artworks in the exhibit were selected by jurors Eric Crosby, Richard Armstrong Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Carnegie Museum of Art; DS Kinsel, Artist / Co-Founder of BOOM Concepts; and Kilolo Luckett, Art Historian + Cultural Producer. This incredible month long festival is taking place all over Pittsburgh and at multiple venues, please check out the website and check out all the amazing experiences this art extravaganza has to offer! More info: 

Saturday September 24, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Mad Hatter Tea Party with 3rd Street Bellydance
220 3rd Street, Carnegie, PA
Tickets $15 or $10 if you are in costume, kids free! 

I am thrilled to be part of this delightful evening of bellydance and music with friends all the way from Connecticut, North Carolina, and Ohio! Live music by the mesmerizing Ancien! Vocal Diva Phat Man Dee will dazzle! AND Performances by Eliot SnaithThe Tribe of EosEllie OlinJennifer Senn’s CattyWhomp Tribe with guest Margaret CampbellKari and Banafsaji, Joanna Abeland 3rd Street Belly Dance, and more!!

Friday October 7, 2016 at 7 p.m. 
Wintergarden at 1 PPG Place

I shall be emceeing this phenomenal event curated by my dear friend Karen Page, the fashion and costuming instructor at CAPA High School! Celebrate radical fashions at this high energy showcase of garments, accessories and jewelry inspired by creative reuse of materials, sustainable practices and transformative processes. This showcase of designs by local artists includes fashions by fiber artists, fashion designers, and also CAPA students who were inspired by Drap-Art visiting artist Dolo Navas while she was residency at their school. Music and refreshments. Family-friendly.

Saturday October 15, 2016 at 10 p.m. 
James Street Speakyeasy and Gastropub 
422 Foreland St, Northside, Pittsburgh 
Join us for a unique night of music! Your favorite local Pittsburgh burlesque and drag performers... SING for YOU! Plus a few musical guest surprises, and live musicians. 
Fierce! VIP front-row tables for 4 (only 4 available) 
Tables for 4 (only eight availble) 
General admission $10 at the door 
Featured Guest: Eileen Galvin from Cols OH 
Local HEADLINER: Phat Man Dee!!! 
Also Featuring: Members of the Velvet Hearts Pittsburgh... Corvida Bleux Holly DeVyne Eden Ivy Luscious D Vita Valentina Viva Valezz! and your host Devon Orel And our friends: Lynn Brigham Georgia Bea Cummings Lita D'Vargas Shaneful Desires of Hot Metal Hardware Gerra Cassandra Meloy Moon: Variety Artist Vyrus V Ixen Arla White and Honey Merlot from Columbus! with the The Ukulele Cowboy Society! (And I don't want to give too much away, but I should mention the organizer of this event Viva Valezz, has a giant oyster shell stage prop that she dances in front of, made by the magical props designer and historical victorian restoration carpenter Ed Pinto, and I have a set of waves made by him as well, and so far they have never been on stage together as part of the same act.... but when you get Viva, Mandee and some sea themed burlesque props in one room together at one time, amazing things could happen!!!!) 

So that is what I have on the books currently. I am working on a couple projects, making another Unity Concert with my fellow artist/ activist co-conspirators, working on creating "Phat Man Dee's Phantom Pop Up Jazz Club and Jam Session", working on a couple different recording projects, a social justice disco album with my old friend and mentor Liz Berlin, working on making a jazz standards album with my mentors Dr Johnson and Howard Alexander.  I am also still editing video from Europe and I have alot more video I have shot since then, so I am just kind of working my way through it.... I am also still teaching voice to young students at the Afro-American Music Institute (AAMI) , and my classes meet every Saturday at 2 p.m. at the school We are located at 7131 Hamilton Ave. in the Homewood section of Pittsburgh, and you can register your child for my class, or yourself for the adult singing class led by Dr Johnson, or an instrument class with any one of our incredible faculty by calling 412-241-6775. More info can be found on our website:

I might be hitting you all up, my wonderful fans and friends, for some support.... I recently became sponsored through Fractured Atlas, so donations made through any fundraiser I do will be tax deductible. I am still kind of deciding what project to raise $$ for, it will probably be the recording projects, since I spent all my $$ I had been saving on renovations to help my mama move into my house. She just retired from her position as a special needs instructor at the Chinle school on the Navajo Nation and she came back to Pittsburgh last week. As soon as I get this work completed, she is moving in with Tommy and I, so I am really happy about that but I spent all my recording budget on fixing some floors so we can install a stairlift for her. So, don't get mad if I start the fundraising thingy again. I will do it as a "Pre Sale" support the new records (listen to me, next I'll revert to calling them albums and think we're doing a release party at the NRM or something!) However, I probably won't need nearly as much as I did to go to Europe, so hopefully it won't be too painful. Speaking of Europe, young Alistair McQueen and I completed another video from our jounrney last year, it's me solo singing "Streets of London" on the Westminster Bridge.

Love you, be kind to each other. We are one people, on one earth, and this is the life we are living, right now.  Yours in peace, Mandee

Thursday, June 16, 2016

N3D Festival on the Hilltop! Gospel! Summer festivals! Music, music, music!

Hello friends.... are you doing ok? Are you hanging in there? It's not safe out there for a lot of people. Well, in reality, it hasn't been safe for a lot of people for a really long time.... but recent events have proven just how unsafe it really is. I have been in LBGTQ spaces for a long time. I have been in African American and Latino spaces for along time. I have been going to gay bars since I was 16 years old and found out Zak's on 4th Ave and Pegasus had all ages nights. I started openly identifying as bisexual when I was still in high school. I got beat up by yinzers and neo Nazi skinheads back then too.... And while I have had more boyfriends than girlfriends, and I did eventually marry a hetro man who doubles as an Amoeba,  I never ever forgot or ever wanted to be too far away from my LBGTQ bothers and sisters. 
Image by Billy Hileman of Planet Queer, a Gay newspaper in the 90's in Pittsburgh, this photo from 1993
My first Pride march was 1993 when I marched with Ted Hoover and Art Manion of Pittsburgh Queer Theater and back then our Pittsburgh Pride parade was hundreds of people, marching for equality through Shadyside to a small community picnic in the park. Since then we have had so very many  wonderful changes.... Gay marriage is legal in Pennsylvania. Anti discrimination laws are popping up all over,  and it has been very easy to get lulled into a false sense of security. Pittsburgh Pride is now a celebration of thousands with food trucks and bars setting up disco parties in the middle of Liberty Ave with local eateries like Shiloh Grille offering "Big Gay Iced Teas"! Glitter beards and unicorn hats abound and the colors are brighter than ever and so our are the dreams and hopes of the all the beautiful Gaybies....10,000 Caftans is a movement and drag kings and trams men have their own floats in a real honest to goodness parade downtown right past Grant Street! Ru Paul is a household name, and well she should be!

But the stigma still exists and so does the ignorance and fear. HIV, especially in the Black community, is on the rise. Republicans keep passing anti gay legislation and spreading hateful lies about same sex marriage and trans people in the bathrooms while conveniently forgetting that straight men molest children all the time but no one is trying to keep them out of the stalls. They keep defending their right to military style assault weaponry and now 50 innocent people, most of whom were young and of color, possibly about to celebrate their own "Pride" for the first time in their tragically shortened lives, have lost their right to life. Their families are in mourning, their friends are devastated, the nation is in shock.... but we shouldn't be surprised. 
Image taken from
This level of hate is nothing new.... we just didn't have snapchat when someone torched the Lesbian bar "Bloomer's" back in the South Side of Pittsburgh in 1990's. We didn't have twitter when popular LBGTQ bartender Jamie Stickle's burned body was found in her jeep in the Northside and cause of death is still "undetermined". We didn't have have instagram or facebook when the "Cross Dressers" (before we knew what a "Trans" community was) most of whom were not white, stood up to the New York City Police department in 1969 and refused to run away or be ashamed or pay off the bribes to have a  semblance of a "safe space" in Greenwich Village at the now venerated Stonewall Inn. 

One of my vocal students this week asked if I had had "fun" at Pride this weekend... she had seen the photos on my facebook wall.... and I said to her that it was intense, and yes I had had fun and got a terrible sun burn, but it was amazing to see how far we have come and yet still be horribly devastated to understand how very far we still have yet to go. She didn't know the birth of the Pride Celebration came about to commemorate the incredible bravery and courage of those early drag queens in 1969 at the Stonewall. She didn't know it used to be illegal just 40 years ago, to be gay, that it was considered a mental disorder and if too many congregated in one place, the gathering was deemed illegal and a place could be raided and all the patrons taken away to jail where they would be beaten, raped and brutalized by both the police and the inmates. They never saw the pictures from my friend Tracy's grandmother's secret stash of photos from her bridal studio, where she used to host after hours secret parties for men to come as ladies and have tea in secret with each other in her bridal shop basement.... So, did I have fun? I was deeply honored to be included in carrying the biggest rainbow flag I have ever seen, larger than a swimming pool, locally sourced and commissioned by my old friend Richard Parsakian, proprietor of Eon's Fashion Antique
Image shot during the Pittsburgh Pride Parade 2016 just before we set the flag down and had a moment of silence to remember the victims of Pulse Orlando
He and 40 of our friends, some old ones like my friends Amy Kreger and Brother Strawberry and Sister Shortcake, whom I have known for decades, along with the Mayor Bill Peduto, Congressman Mike Doyle, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Police Chief McClay right behind the Dikes on Bikes..... I was honored to have the privilege to be among this incredibly beautiful, diverse, multi generational and beautiful community.... and I will admit, the glitter beards and the caftans got to me. I did have fun, but I also shed many tears.... We just have so far to go my friends. 

In 1997, a beautiful drag queen named Carmella Marcella Garcia, who sang just like Loretta Lynn, from Sarasota, Florida, taught me how to create my glitter lip look at the Gay 90's in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The first person to ever put me on a stage outside of high school was Ted Hoover of Pittsburgh Queer Theater. The most incredible jazz standard ever penned was by Billy Strayhorn, a gay Black man from Pittsburgh who became Duke Ellington's right hand man and composed some of th most beautiful and complicated music ever written. So, if you ever loved any part of my performance, it is because a Gay person helped me get there. Please help stand up for the right to exist for our LBGTQ brothers, sisters and everyone in between.  Donate some money to the GLCC, Dreams of Hope, Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force, Shepherd Wellness Community or GLSEN. If you here someone say "Faggot" or "Dike" or "Tranny" or "Queer" and they are not LBGTQ themselves, slap those fools. Or at least don't let them think it's ok. It's not ok to say the "N" word is it? Well it's not ok for a straight person to say the "F" one or anything like it either. Call your law makers and make sure they are doing everything they can to prevent this from ever happening again. Request protections for LBGTQ people and defense against discrimination. Tell them we need to get assault weaponry off the streets. Get educated and be aware and let's make this world one we are proud to leave to all the children, no matter who they love or what the color of their skin is, which God they worship (or don't) and what land they are from. If you want to pray, that's amazing.... please do. But remember what Pastor Shanea Leonard of the Judah Fellowship in Pittsburgh said at the Pittsburgh Clergy Consotrium's rally earlier this week: "I pray with my hands when I write about discrimination, I pray with my feet as I march for justice and I pray with my mouth when I speak out against hate" she also said "Every time we let someone on the bus mutter an anti gay hate slur then Orlando is our fault." We can stop this, but we must fight this hate in person, every time. So did I have fun? I think I did, and though it was laced with much pain,  there was also hope. I met a sister from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, an order of nuns who believe that to sin is to be human, to celebrate it is divine and that we should expiate guilt in all it's forms so we can be as the universe created us without fear. Sister Tillie Screams has come to help Pittsburgh to set up a sister house here, so I still have hope. We just have to work for it. 

Oh yeah, did you actually want to hear about the many shows I have lined up? Cuz, I do, have a bunch of gigs, lined up, like awesome ones, with great musicians, and entertainers and artists.... I am exhausted because I just got back from taking Liz Berlin's and our Creative Life Support's  "We Rock Workshop" students to the Pocono Mountains to a resort to perform for the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services conference on adoption.... it was wonderful and painful to ride a big yellow school bus all the way across the state.... but the show was worth it! So proud of them! 
Me with the 2016 students of the We Rock Workshop with other teachers from Creative Life Support Mario Quinn and Shaunden Smith! 
And the week before that I was in North Carolina singing to a sold out crowd at the 10th Annual Americana Burlesque and Sideshow Festival.... 
Image by Isaac Harrell at 10th Annual American Burlesque Sideshow Festival at the Orange Peel, waves by Ed Pinto
And now I have 3 gigs this weekend and a summers worth of incredible festivals coming up! NO REST FOR THE WICKED! 

Friday June 17
With N3D Kick off party! 
Age Limit: 21+   Tickets: $12.50 advance, $15 at door, for Mt Washington and Allentown residents, $5 adv and $10 at door! I will emcee this event which features Beauty Slap, Gone south and local dj's, there will be an art show and enjoy the local cuisine from our Caribbean restaurant Leon's in Allentown and Kasvar in Mt Washington, the area's only Uzbeki restaurant and more! 
More info:

Saturday June 18

All ages, noon - 4 p.m. N3D Saturday concert! I will sing at noon for in Grandview Park where Beltzhoover Ave meets Boggs! This beautiful park has a stunning view of the city and I will be singing with Dwayne Dolphin, Carlos Peña and other groups performing inlcuding Christiane Dolores and her group Amor Fati, in which I sing back up with Geña Musica, Stevee Wellons with Izzy Arlet (guitar), Chris Belin (drums), Justin Brown (bass) and Paul Cunningham (keys) as our super solid trance funk well as other spectacular performances by my husband's space rawk band Amoeba Knievel and Geña Musica's rebel salsa riot band, Machete Kisumontao! Seriously, don't miss this one. It's going to be off the chain and it's going to be a stunningly beautiful day of music in the park! 
Tweet and Gram with us!  Program Hashtags: #N3DPgh #DestinationHilltop

Sunday June 19
All Ages, 4 p.m. No entry fee, free will offering. Please join us on the Father's Day for "Hymns for Him"! The gospel choir with whom I sing is run by Pastor Deryck Tines, an openly same gender loving man, and his voice (just like his heart) is as big as the sun! He leads the Lemington Gospel Chorale and the median age of this group is somewhere on the later side of life. We sing classic old African American gospel and we invite you to be in the congregation at St andrews Episcopalian Church in Highland Park at 5801 Hampton St. All are welcome! More info:

Saturday July 9 - the Lemington Chorale will be joining the Pittsburgh 200 Celebration and march through downtown for an event at Point State Park! 

Saturday July 16 - In Sherman, NY, I will lead the Brushwood Folklore Center's Family Choir, a Pan Spiritual, Multi Lingual Psychedelic Gospel Experience at the closing Saturday night celebration of SanKofa! If you want to join the choir or just come out to camp with us at this sacred "Sanctuary for An Open Mind" get your camping gear in order!  It is $20 just for the show, but if you want to camp out with us, the whole week is $150. There is a pool and a hot tub and classes and workshops and performances and vending all week long. For more info visit 

Tuesday July 19 - In Sherman NY, still at Brushwood Folklore Center, at the Sirius Rising festival, I will perform with Pittsburgh's favorite sideshow and burlesque troupe "Kabarett Vulgare" on the MainStage. Tickets are $20 for just the show and up to $180 for the week of camping. More info:

Saturday July 23 - Oil City, Pa I am very excited to part of a parade to celebrate Oil City's rich heritage! I will be on a float with musicians from my band The Cultural District, riding through town during the Oil Heritage Festival Parade! We kick off at 5 pm at Mayer Street and I will sing all the way to State Street! 

Friday August 5 - Detroit, MI I am very excited to be invited to work collaboratively as a musician with the artists of Dark Passage and the Seafoam Palace. Phat Man Dee shall be the vocal element to a riverfront spectacle at dusk celebrating the totems that make up a regions history and fables. More info shall be posted, as this event solidifies, which may be difficult as the theme for this performance is "phantom islands".
More info about the event we have been invited to participate in:
More info about the Seafoam Palace:

That's it for now..... go fight some injustice and enjoy the music and the dancing while you can. We have right now. Much love to you. We are stronger together. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

That time when I was singing on stage and my mom and sister's house was burning.....

Thankfully my entire family was out of town.... no humans were home. While we sadly lost 2 kitties and a pet hamster, my sister, her partner Oliver, my nephews and niece and their housemate were all off at Louie's cabin in Pymatuning. They found out their home was on fire over facebook. I found out when my mother called me while Vinsantos (director of the New Orleans Drag Workshop) was explaining that to achieve a non streaky white I needed to dab (or pound as she so "daintily" demonstrated) NOT "smear" on my face..... my mother called mid-pound and said on the phone while I was upstairs at the Rex Theater and said in some hysterical calm that only mothers can manage "My house is burning, no one is home, don't go, there's nothing you can do, but I thought you should know...." And with that knowledge I went off to sing the role of The Dodo is this year's Morose and Macabre's Atrocity Exhibition about our take on the fable of Alice in Wonderland.... the promo for which all read "You can never go home again" (Lesson of today, be careful what you prophesy folks!)
I wanted to go after my act, but my brother in law said not to go, there was nothing I could do... so I stayed and tried to take in the absolutely incredible performances of some of America's creepiest performances, featuring burlesque, sideshow, drag and visual artists at the top of their game. Here is a shot of me, as the Dodo, with the devilishly delightful Macabre Noir, as Alice.
photo by Ang Delmastro-Harshman
I even made a pretty cool doll with the help of artist Danielle Robinson and manufacturer Zoe Collins. It has a usb drive with my "A Decidedly Creepy EP" featuring songs I have performed and written for past Atrocity Exhibitions. My head wasn't really in the game of of trying to sell too many of them though.... so if you bought one (Jess, Ed and Beth!) THANK YOU! You can see it's listing in my brand new just opened for the first time ever Etsy shop and buy it there!

That said.... we are planning a massive benefit show and thank you concert for those who want to or already have donated to help my sister and the family. They didn't have any renters insurance so they did lose absolutely everything (except the most important things, their lives!). I am thrilled to say that instead of planning a funeral, we are planning a concert at Altar Bar on June 2, 2016, all ages, suggested donation $10, tix available here:  
We would love you to attend! If you cannot be there, you can donate online!

We are going to be live streaming the event with the help of Taylor Hall of the Peace House in Washington, D.C. Musicians scheduled to perform include: Miguel Sague, Pastor Deryck Tines, MACHETE - KisumontaoSosa, Zeeppo The-Clown and the Steel City Clown BrigadeLiz BerlinMoemaw NaedonSmokin' McQueenShad AliSlippy the Clown, HollyHoodMacabre NoirWest, Lita D'VargasBilly PilgrimChance EncountersLAZYBLACKMANHot Metal Hardware and Guaracha Latin Dance Band

And on top of all this amazing art events and communal blessings I have 2 major performances scheduled for the coming weekend for Memorial Day weekend I am venturing south.... to the beautiful city of Asheville, NC for Tenth Annual ABS Fest! Now I know that NC is on the no-go list.... but the people that this event celebrates, the very thing we are fighting for, the freedom to be who you are without fear of of violence, abuse and now the bathroom police, is celebrated by the Americana Burlesque and Sideshow Festival. This event is signed to help people be themselves and celebrate their god and goddess given truths. I am really hopeful that when people see how much better it is to be free, and to be yourself, that we can help end the attack on our LBGTQ brothers, sisters and everyone in between. To live in defiance of their hatred and oppression is a real tool against their violence.
Festival founder Onça O'Leary 
I will be appearing at the main event on Saturday night at the Orange Peel and I will be hosting the following morning at the Grey Eagle for the Sunday morning Burlesque Brunch! Tickets do sell out, so I sincerely recommend you visit the website and get yours well in advance! I am really excited to be reuniting with my old friend Bullfrog Willard McGhee for these performances! 
Get your tickets here, and check out their amazing schedule of workshops and classes in addition to the performances!

On Memorial Day proper, th' Bullfrog and I will be reuniting with our old friend Tall Paul Leech for a afternoon session of blues, bluegrass and jazz standards up on Black Mountain at the Lake Lure Festival

Upon my return from the southern wilds (and assuming I don't get jailed for my potential civil disobedience of peeing in the "wrong" bathroom) we have my sister's benefit and thank you concert (see above) and then that following Saturday June 4 I will be singing with Christiane D's band Amor Fati at the Layer Cake Festival at Spirit at 2:20 pm! My sweet husband Tommy Amoeba's band Amoeba Knievel to follow!
More info and how to buy tickets!
I have also just been booked for the Next 3 Days (N3D) event in Allentown and Mt Washington! I will be emceeing the kick off party on Friday June 17 at 7 pm and singing with my band The Cultural District and also with my husband's band Amoeba Knievel and more the following day June 18 at noon at Grandview Park! More info :

So, yes, my mother's house, where my beautiful sister and her wonderful family have lived for many years is burned, and it is shell.... I have no idea what is going to happen with it. But I do know that my family is still alive. My nephews and niece and sister and her partner and their housemate are still here. We plan a party, not a funeral, so to the Gods and the Goddesses, to sweet King Jesus and the holy blessings of Yocahoo and Atabe and everyone in between, I give much thanks now and forever. I am thankful for the hundreds of friends and family that have come forth to offer love, money, help, donations, we are blessed and humbled by your generosity and your grace. 

Thank you for letting us be in your life. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Film screenings! Theater openings! Strange weddings and a Jabberwocky!

Though the skies over Pittsburgh may be attempting to belie the truth, spring is here and for Phat Man Dee that means fabulous events, grand openings, social justice disco and more!
Join us this Friday April 8 when Lawrenceville's hottest concert hall and pizza palace, Spirit, turns 1 year old!
For a venue which gives life to psychedelic haunted mazes and the best pizza below Butler, I cannot wait to see what their next year will bring! I am singing at midnight, but get there early to catch all the performances by Pittsburgh underground icons as Grand BuffetThe Gotobeds, Jordan Weeks, FOSTER CARE, Shaky ShrinesSOFTSPOTGiggly Boys, TWIZ (AKA Old Dream)! 
More info and ticket link: FB page: ($10 adv, $15 day of) : is located at 252 51st St, Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh

To see more of what I have been spending my time on, please come out on Tuesday April 12 to Pittsburgh Filmmakers Melwood Screening Room for Film Kitchen! Join us for a magical evening gazing at the silver screen, munching popcorn and laughing together, at one of the nation's oldest film collective's theatre! Hosted by local filmmaker and cinemagraphic whiz kid Matthew R. Day, originator of such roles as Julius Duvatine and Squirellilla, this evening is sure to amaze and delight!

This series features the work of local movie makers and this month they are screening my work from "Take it to the Bridge with Phat Man Dee", as well as the world premiere of Amoeba Knievel's new music video "Cowboy Ed and the Caterpillar".
FB event page:
Movies to be featured include video from my international musical series includes musical duets with musicians and dancers on bridges all over Europe! See Phat Man Dee sing with musician Nik Phelps in Belgium! See her scat with Moe Seeager in Paris! Sing for dancer Wonderful Ginger in Rome! Get down with the Church of Malcolm in Scotland! Sing gospel with Tracey Adele Cooper and Jodi Phlegar in Germany! Sing with Jake Goldwasser at the World Body Painting Festival in Austria! Sing in view of the basilica with Daniele Mutino, accordionist and singing story teller! Also presenting #new and #unseen footage!!!  Video shot and edited by both Take it to the Bridge with Phat Man Dee and Alistair McQueen of Smoke This Productions. Anthing else could happen as well, so don't miss it! And don't be late, or you'll miss all the beer!
Showtime 7 pm. Only $5! All ages!
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Melwood Screening Room is located at 477 Melwood Ave, Pittsburgh!

April 16 JUST ANNOUNCED! I will be performing at the new venue in Mr Smalls theater, an intimate 150 seat, limited capacity venue called "The Funhouse at Mr Smalls". I will be sharing the bill with Liz Berlin of Rusted Root! We will be performing our own sets and then, because sometimes not only dreams, but April Fools jokes really do come true, Liz and I will be performing a set of of social justice songs for a new genre we are defining called "Social Justice Disco".....  I can see this needs some explaining.... On April 1, this year, on my private FB page I made a series of ever more bizarre announcements, ranging from announcing that concert promoter Brian Drusky and I were going to get married while my current husband Tommy Amoeba would don my old half man-half woman sideshow costume and be both ring bearer and flower girl.... I then later said Wendy Bell and I were going to wrestle in Ramen noodles and donate the $$ to Wwhats Up Pittsburgh? and then I said I would be playing Zoe Saldana, playing Nina Simone, in an up and coming zombie documentary bio pic called "I've Got You Under My Skins"....I think in one update I  may have challenged Mayor Peduto to a round of Isaly's Chip Chopped Ham Wrestling during the Arts Festival.... and in there was the announcement that Liz Berlin (who is my boss at We Rock Workshop) and I were working on a Social Justice Disco album with the Pittsburgh Symphony and members of Rusted Root.... so what happens but Liz texts me and is like "yeah, we should absolutely do that!" While we have not gotten the symphony or any other members of Rusted Root on board yet, the music won't be stopped! Liz and I intend to work on Anne Feeny's "Have You Been to Jail for Justice" and Billy Bragg's and Woody Guthrie's "All You Fascists are Bound for Hell" and They Might Be Giant's "Your Racist Friend"..... So, I am not sure about times, or ticketing info or anything, I will put it all up on my calendar when I get the info, so check my web calendar closer to the actual date and stay tuned on my twitter and fb pages.....

And on April 30, I am thrilled to say I will be singing at a most nefarious wedding of 2 very old friends of mine, Mr Arm and Velda Von Minx of Trundle Manor!
It's a day long festival, and its open to the public. It will be unlike any wedding you have ever seen before! More info on the wedding registry and event itself:

Saturday May 14, 2016! Buy your tickets in advance, (from me if possible) to this year's Morose and Macabre's Atrocity Exhibition VIII: Jabberwocky!!!!! I am thrilled to be part again of Morose & Macabre's annual cavalcade of the beautiful and bizarre. The Atrocity Exhibition promises to create an immersive theater experience that tells one horribly wonderful story through the art of nationally recognized sideshow, burlesque, and cabaret entertainers. The Atrocity Exhibition is also host to an array of exhibiting artists and artisans for those of a darker sensibility.  This year, the event takes us to a place where innocence is lost, nothing is as it seems, no one can be trusted, and most importantly, there is no way home.
Welcome to your head.
The Atrocity Exhibition takes place at the Rex Theater, 1602 E Carson St, South Side, Pittsburgh
Over 21, advance tickets STRONGLY recomennded 
For ticketing and information visit: WWW.MOROSEANDMACABRE.COM

Save the date!!! May 27, 28, 29 I will be heading south to Asheville, NC to perform in the 10th Annual Americana Burlesque and Sideshow Festival known as "ABS Fest"! I will be singing in the gala event on Saturday night at the Orange Peel, and I will be emceeing and singing at the Sunday morning Burlesque Brunch with my old friend th' Bullfrog Willard McGhee, as we celebrate the feminine (and possibly masculine) divine in a sea of sacred mimosas and tassel twirling! Join us for a weekend of amazing performances, workshops, vendors and community! For schedule and ticketing info: 

That's it for now folks! Except, please, for the love of all that is holy, get to the polls and vote.... I don't want to tell you who to vote for, but I don't mind sharing that I am absolutely voting for John Fetterman, currently mayor of Braddock, PA, for his bid in the senate race of Pennsylvania and I am also strongly supporting Bernie Sanders for his presidential bid. We need to continue supporting change and evolution, and I am all about rebuilding infrastructure, health care and education for all.
Tomorrow is not promised, friends, we must work for it!

Love, power, compassion, thank you for being in my world, Mandee

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Jazz at Blue Moon Bar this Sunday! 23rd Annual Ides of March March! New videos about fascists and weddings!

Friends! So much is happening! It's crazy, how much is going on, it's hard to keep up with myself!

I am singing this Sunday March 13th at the Blue Moon Bar in Lawrenceville, with guitarist Carlos Peña! 10 pm, 21 and over, no cover, 5115 Butler St, Lawrenceville!
More info:
I just love this venue, it is small and intimate, non smoking, the home for the best Drag artists in the city, and has extremely generous wine pours! There is no cover! It's free! Just come on down and go to the bar that Cheers would have been if it had been run by your Gay yinzer uncle! The evening is presented by an up and coming filmmaker and producer Smokin' McQueen!

However before that fateful performance, specifically in about 17 hours of the posting of this blog/email blast, if you would like to know what *I* recommend on a Friday night in Pittsburgh....May I suggest that you attend Friday March 11you might attend the 33rd Anniversary Concert celebrating the Afro American Music Institute? The Spelman College Jazz Ensemble is the guest artist, they are here all the way from Atlanta, GA and also performing will be the Jazz Lab students, who are taught weekly by my old friend Howie Alexander! They sound great and the future of music is safe with these young ones! They rehearse right after my own vocal class every Saturday and if you can make it tomorrow you will really be in for a treat! 7 pm at St James AME church, 444 Lincoln Ave, in Homewood! $10, all ages!
More info:
and then later this same night on Friday March 11 I whole heartedly recommend an evening of rock n roll, clowns, earnest singer songwriters and the best Polish food in the 'Burgh! At the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern, 4412 Liberty Ave, Bloomfield! 10 pm, 21 and over, $5!
With my sweet husband Tommy Amoeba's band Amoeba Knievel, Slippy the Clown, Dru and Amy MmmHmm and Robin Votes! Also the World Video Premiere of Amoeba Knievel's FIRST EVER music video,  created by Smokin' McQueen of Smoke This Productions, of "Cowboy Ed and the Caterpillar"!  More info:


On Tuesday March 15 is the 23rd Annual Ides of March March!!! 
Come march with us for no particular reason at all! This proud and completely unreasonable annual tradition has plagued the Southside for over 2 decades! Join us with your heads held high in a celebration of the IT that IS! For we are, we have been and we shall continue to be for as long as we are able! Beat the gong soundly and dress up like the best version of you that you could imagine! Afterwards we retire for a bit of cake and coffee, so wear some comfortable walking shoes and bring your own percussion! Clowns and nefarious ne'er do wells welcome!
Gather 6 pm at 12th and Carson! March at 6:30!
More info:

And then the DAY AFTER THAT (no rest for the artful) I am singing on Wednesday March 16 with Christiane D at Artful Wednesdays at the University of Pittsburgh's William Pitt Student Union!  All ages, 12 pm, no cover, at 5th and Bigelow, in Oakland!
More info about the show:
It's at NOON, so don't be late! I sang on her record, if you would like to download it check it out!

And then..... as I started the week singing in a Gay bar.... and because every good story uses bookends.... something that is reminiscent of that which was at the beginning is again referenced in the end.... I shall go back to my roots and sing for a benefit fundraiser for the nation's ONLY LBGTQ BURLESQUE FESTIVAL! On Friday March 18, we shall celebrate the Fierce Queer Burlesque Festival and perform a murder mystery burlesque variety cabaret extravaganza at James Street Gastropub! I am on FIRST so if you want to see me DON'T BE LATE! There are over 26 performers, so if you are late, there will be plenty of bawdy beauties to tempt the eyes!
9 pm, $5, over 21 only, 422 Foreland St, Northside!
More info about Fierce NOIR:

And as if that was not enough, all these opportunities to see me LIVE and IN PERSON, iffen you just live too far away, or you work too much, or you would like to share the fascinating world of Phat Man Dee with a friend or loved one.... please enjoy these video offerings.... the first video here is one shot and edited by Smokin' McQueen and myself at the World Bodypainting Festival in Austria during European adventures last year. I sing with a young musician named Jake Goldwasser who was on his way to study at the Conservatory of Music in Vienna.... the models and the incredible artists who painted them were so inspiring and beautiful, I was so happy for the opportunity to sing to them while they worked!

And, because the world isn't all body painted wood elves who play the flute....I have been feeling the fear of the nation building around me, as madness threatens to create a hellish kingdom on this earth.... I believe that we on the planet are one people, with the capacity to love and honor each other and celebrate our diversity with opportunity, equity and respect. Not everyone feels this way. As a patriotic American I have a sacred duty to do my best to prevent the rise of fascism. If his name is Trump, if his name is Cruz, or Toomey or even Hitler, whatever you call him, we need to fight the home grown "American" terrorists who would like to see him in the Oval office. So, I wrote a song about it. It is in demo form, I just wrote it and I recorded it in my home studio, it's not what I would consider a finished piece by any means, but if you would like to check it out, here is the demo for "4th Reich is Rising" by Phat Man Dee.

One final thought, horrible thing happened yesterday,  something I can't understand. A family was massacred while having a bar be que in their back yard, in Wilkinsburg, PA, its a small city just east of Pittsburgh. I have been there many times. It is on hard times, but there are some wonderful people who live there. Today there are 5 less. 5 people and an  unborn baby were shot and killed. There are 11 children orphaned now as a result. The family has a fund set up at Citizen's Bank, the "Shelton-Powell Memorial Fund". If you can share something, they have many people to bury and now many children to care for. The bank info is Citizen's Bank, 2020 Ardmore Blvd, phone: 412-271-9183.

As I cannot just let you go on that horrible reality, I wrote a song called "Why Wait (to say I Love You)" which the World Bodypainting Festival featured in a video they made of my dear friend's wedding! My friends Madelyn and Scott are award winning bodypaint artists from the Livingbrush, which is the reason I went to the festival last July in Austria.... my song is my way of saying don't wait. If you love someone, now is the time to say it. Now is the time to love. Now is the time to be beautiful.

One love,