Out in the Tropics: Taylor Mac's Pop Music Tribute Is So Last Century

Taylor Mac likes pop music. And he's pretty indiscriminate about the pop music he likes, from primitive folk songs of the 1770s to the Auto-Tuned, focus-grouped hits of today. The actor and gender-bending diva, recognized in New York City and beyond for his politically conscious, impossible-to-reproduce theatrical spectacles, is channeling his love of music for the masses in his next gargantuan project: a 24-hour concert in the Big Apple, slated for late next year, that will cover the past 24 decades of pop music.

But well before his 24-Hour History of Popular Music, Mac will run a number of mini musical marathons, including his much-anticipated appearance at this weekend's provocative Out in the Tropics festival at the Colony Theatre. Titled 20th Century Concert (Abridged), Friday night's show will feature a song from each decade of the 20th Century, in addition to a pair of encores. Mac will likely be an art exhibition in and of himself, with attire that will make Lady Gaga's and Björk's performance garb look conservative. Mac spoke with New Times about his unique aesthetic and the ghosts of pop music past and present.

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John Thomason