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Mad Vicky's Tea Gallery

mad vicky's tea gallery cocorosie

Via MySpace I received an invitation I couldn’t refuse. The voice that haunted my evening walks home would perform the next evening at Mad Vicky’s Tea Gallery. I’d listened to Ova Nil, Oh Vanille countless times after stumbling upon her disc in the village library, but I knew nothing of Diane Cluck except love of her somber voice.

Summoning a friend that shares many a taste in shopping, crafting, food and folk music, we met in the drizzle of late afternoon near Montmartre making our way to the Teahouse. Greeted by an open storefront, pitcher of milky tea and pile of shoes, we slipped ours off and descended the spiral staircase into a white-washed cave. By candle-lit glow, girls spoke of fairie oracles and curious neighborhood children.

I began to inquire as we crossed our legs and joined the powwow, “What is this place? Do they serve tea here? Is Diane Cluck really going to play?” Danielle of the band Rio en Medio filled in most of the pieces. Yes she had chosen the billowy white dress to go with her art installation: muslin speckled with tea stains, outlined in pen. Could we jot down our thoughts in her black book? And yes, Diane Cluck would serenade. Gazing at the shapes like identifying cloud animals, I saw continents in a milky sea, my companion a woman’s ovaries.

Like story book characters down the rabbit hole, the CocoRosie sisters Bianca and Sierra materialized as Diane appeared with guitar. She perched in the corner and without moving a muscle I was at her tiny feet. The air became heavy as the cave filled with warm bodies snuggled to fit like puzzle pieces onto the floor space. Strumming as she sang, the sound was ever as melancholically beautiful as the familiar recording.

diane cluck

I stole a few minutes to find out she’s from Pennsylvania, likes the fact that a copy of her cd is kept in an obscure French library, and to share recommendations on where to go in Austin: Casa de Luz for macrobiotic fare and Barton Springs for a crisp summer swim. Maybe chance will have it that I’m there when she blows through town in early August.

Mad Vicky’s is a collective artists’ space realized by Bianca who sometimes wears a neon moustache. It is not a teahouse in the sense that I assumed. No money was exchanged. It is a mingling of people and art forms that she declared happens spontaneously. Keep an eye on the site calendar or add her to your MySpace friends to join into what she next conjures up in her petite Paris space.

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