Five to Discover: The Dina Martina Edition

In this – the age of the Coronavirus – many of us are stuck at home, isolated with only TV screens and the glow of laptops and phones to keep us connected. In other words, there isn’t much to do.

However, one thing that is available to us all is the wide world of recorded music. And now is as good a time as ever to get to know some bands you may not have heard of but ones that you will assuredly enjoy, dear reader.

So, in this special edition of our Discovery Series, buckle up and get ready for a digital ride around the creative mind of the one and only Dina Martina (of J Mascis fame) during this wacky-one-of-a-kind-special-holiday-season!!!

Santa Clause
We’ll begin with a short, two-minute gem from the drag artist, Dina Martina, who splits time between Seattle and Provincetown, Massachusetts. In this little ditty, Martina describes the rotund, jolly Ol’ St. Nick how only she can with mispronounced words, sterling intentions and a comically jarring lack of self-awareness. Or, perhaps, Martina is so aware that she knows exactly what she’s doing at all times (wink, wink).

Away in the Manger
One doesn’t get the sense Martina is religious. It doesn’t feel like she’s particularly honoring anyone or anything in her recitations of Christmas carols like this one. It’s almost as if she’s singing the songs she picked up drifting around her own psyche as a young person. Nevertheless, Martina delightfully flubs this song so well, it’s worth playing when putting the star crookedly (again) atop your tree. 

Angels We Have Heard on High
It’s as if she hasn’t read the lyrics (or practiced) this timeless church-tied standard. How many out there today have walked the pews, smelling the incense, hearing this classic belted on the organ on December 24th or 25th. Regardless of personal association, Martina butchers it so badly and so shrilly that she busts sides in the process.

In this track, listeners get a sense of the singer’s flighty, free-association storytelling. During non-pandemic winters, Martina is famous for her live shows in Seattle, New York and Provincetown. Legendary movie director, John Waters, famously adores her. In her live shows, she gives gifts (“jifts”) and sings and tells off the wall story versions like this.

The Christmas Song
This last example includes a spy cell phone camera video of a bit of Martina’s live standup before she goes into song. She’s odd. Enthralling. Engaging. A Holiday Miracle complete with bright red lipstick. She’s a bright spot in this time of 4 pm sunsets and continued social distancing.

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