The problem with David Liebe Hart: Shrek Retold to be screened in Grass Valley
Submitted to Prospector
The enigmatic actor, singer, alleged UFO abductee, train enthusiast and puppeteer David Liebe Hart is, some might say, problematic.
The audiences in attendance of his multimedia variety shows are often left bewildered, uncertain whether to laugh, cry, cheer or simply marvel at the mystery. Is he being sincere or acting? Is this comedy or tragedy? Is it a triumph of will for a lovable manchild or is backing musician/manager Jonah “Th’ Mole” Mociun, longtime resident of Nevada City, taking advantage of an unstable man?
Charges of exploitation against those who put a spotlight on Hart go back to 2004, when he found mainstream success as a regular on Adult Swim’s “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” television series. Previously known only amongst the fringe audiences of bizarre public access TV programming, or to those who’d see him performing for tips outside the Hollywood Bowl, David was suddenly vaulted into a much wider audience, and with that came accusations that his collaborators were uncaring users, profiting from and making jokes at the expense of the mentally challenged.
Claiming to be in communication with aliens, clearly relishing the spotlight, and being extremely talkative without any filter, Hart is nothing if not interesting. For his fans, the songs about paranormal encounters (“Ghost Frog,” “Space Train”), sour romance (“No Sex Since ‘94,” “You Don’t Love Me”), and innocent adoration (“I Love Water Lilies”) are endearing, funny, and even inspirational. For others they are simply weird or depressing. David’s prolific creative output (including not only music and puppetry but paintings, what he calls standup comedy, and various acting roles) might be considered to be a sort of Rorschach test. Everyone seems to be affected differently.
And the intentions behind Hart’s professional partners are equally difficult to fathom. While Tim and Eric are considered to be comedians, it seems that their sense of humor is rooted in making the audience feel awkward, disgusted, or just confused. Jonah Mociun, when probed, is cagey, claiming that “bending minds is [he and David’s] business.”
Hart himself further clouds the issue, oftentimes contradicting himself by praising and insulting his facilitators, apparently depending on his mood.
As for Mociun, the waters get even muddier when we discover that the 40-year old (caucasian) man has taken to rapping under the name Chip The Black Boy. It seems racially insensitive at best, but again, digging below the surface leads into a rabbit hole. Performing under a multitude of pseudonyms (MC Dissolving Soap Sliver, Whatever Your Heart Desires, etc.) Mociun’s eclectic and experimental back-catalog suggests a proclivity for the hard-to-categorize. Fans of Hart know Chip The Black Boy as one of his many puppets and part of David’s repertoire long before he began working with Mociun around 2014.
“He kept saying ‘you should do your rap music with Chip,’ and I resisted at first,” said Mociun. “It seemed like a bad idea. But then one day I just got inspired and started writing lyrics. The concept is that the puppet is possessed by an outer-dimensional entity. There’s a story I’m unfolding…”
Exactly what is going on with David may be a problem that can’t be solved. But for the intrigued, Hart and Mociun can be witnessed firsthand on their southwest American tour throughout March, and David’s very own Adult Swim series, entitled “I Love David,” is set to premiere early this spring.
Just before embarking on the tour, the pair will present a movie screening in Grass Valley. Shrek Retold is a full-length, scene-for-scene reinterpretation of the original Shrek film, created by over 200 artists. Ranging from live action to animation, switching styles every minute or two, Shrek Retold is a truly bizarre viewing experience. Hart, who also appears in the film, will introduce it along with a short performance, followed by a meet-and-greet.
The event begins at 8 p.m., Saturday March 2 at The Un-Church, 220 Bresee Place. There is a $5-10 suggested donation. All ages are welcome though the film is unofficially rated PG-13. Tickets available at ArtByLiebeHart.com/tickets. Event page at http://www.facebook.com/events/270521200285912.
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