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They Might Be Giants
— with "Stereotype in Quad" by Watchface opening —
Darinka in New York, NY
April 11, 1986 at 10:30 PM
Fan Recaps and Comments:
The opener for this show was performance art group Watchface, who performed their show, "Stereotype in Quad", starring group members Chazz Dean and James Siena with additional performances from members Iris Rose and Melanie Monios. This show was also the first of a series of monthly gigs at Darinka that They Might Be Giants asked Watchface to open for, with Watchface performing four different performance pieces each month. Tickets were $10.
Somewhere around April 1986, John Flansburgh sent Darinka owner Gary Ray two answering machine messages about the show. Both messages were found on Tape 340.0077 at the Darinka Archives in NYU:
Gary. Ah, yes, I figured out what it was. It is “Stereotype” not “Stereotypes.” “Stereotype In Quad.” Um, that’s the title. Cause it’s all four of them doing similar things—all similar stereotypes. But it is “Stereotype.” So, DO NOT mail out anything with that thing on it. Also I wanted to talk to you about the mailing. Talk to you later. Bye bye.
Gary, don’t come tonight, I haven’t finished it yet. Um—just—This is John. Also, it’s not just “Chazz and James,” it’s “Stereotype In Quad” is the name of their performance. But—great message. Glad to hear you smiling through your voice again. Talk to you later. Bye-bye.
This show is also the earliest known event to have been held at Darinka after its raid and subsequent closure on June 29th, 1985. The venue would later receive an "official" reopening on September 5th, 1986.
In an interview wih the Radio Radio podcast in 2013, Flansburgh mentioned that a line from one of the Stereotype performances served as inspiration for the song Santa's Beard:
We worked with a performance art group called Watchface [...] in the East Village when we started, they had a duo act called "Stereotype", where they would just be sort of chanting different kind of stereotyped phrases that you would hear in the world. And then they did a show called "Stereotype in Quad", where there would be four people all chanting and [...] it was kinda like sketch comedy in a way but it was a little bit more abstracted than that. So they had all these different chants in their shows and one of them was.. Santa beards! They had a holiday themed thing and that was just kind of stuck in my head.