The title of Jessica Delfino’s show, “Dirty Folk Rock,” may be a bit of an understatement. Even the titles of her songs (“My Pussy Is Magic,” “A Stranger’s Cock”) are NSFW, to say the least (sorry if you are reading this at work). She does mention in her bio that she has been denounced by the Catholic League, and if you visit the links from www.jessicadelfino.com, you can see why.
But the multi-talented Delfino has entertained audiences around the world, appearing at Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Fest, and the Dublin Comedy Festival. She can also tone it down enough to appear on Good Morning America and Fox News’s Red Eye show. She’ll be toning it down a bit tonight at the Cape Ann Community Cinema in Gloucester, as well.
I spoke with the singer, comedian, and filmmaker by e-mail about the show.
How did you hook up with the venue in Gloucester?
I was hitch hiking through Calcutta and this guy picked me up in his truck. He told me he had a friend who owned a place in Gloucester, MA and that I should play there. 6 months later, here we are.
Is the Gloucester show going to be multi-media? Are you planning on showing any of your videos or shorts?
Yes, I'll be showing some videos. I'll also playing a few different instruments including the guitar the electronic auto harp and the flying V ukulele. But not at the same time. The electronic autoharp by the way, is pretty amazing. It's like a keyboard from the future. You really have to see it to understand its magic.
The press release says this show will be toned down a bit from your normal shows. Is that at the request of the venue? What can people expect?
It is partially at the behest of the venue yes. Some people just don't understand the more outrageous stuff. But it is still dirty folk rock and I still expect to offend some people. Apologies, there are no refunds for people who expect to be offended but aren't.
I Wanna Be Famous
Do your parents ever ask you why you have to sing about some of those things?
Parents often thank me for doing their job for them.
Do you still perform in the subway?
I do on occasion, but not as much as I used to. I got tired of getting less cards from say, record label execs and more cards from shady people who claimed to own a restaurant in Queens they'd love to have me play at on a Tuesday night.
Where did you get a flying V ukulele?
I got my flying V ukulele in Scotland at a regular old music store. The UK is so cool, there, flying V ukuleles are just a normal way of life.
How do international audiences react to what you do?
They seem to enjoy my work a lot. They let their kids come to my shows, they get all my jokes and laugh at them and they give me presents. I can even sing my songs there on the radio. We are friends.
Do you identify more with being a comedian, a musician, or a filmmaker? Or some combination of all of them?
This is such a tough one and I get this a lot. I went to art school and so I have this mentality that I can make money doing whatever creative thing I want to. But people really want a title. So I try to think of clever ones which combine -- twisted minstrel? Let's just say if it were charted pie style, it'd be a very eclectic and delicious pie.