“Conjoined Twins” Evelyn Evelyn Roll Into Town Amid Controversy

Ok, now this is a weird one.  According to their official website, Evelyn Evelyn are conjoined twins born on a small farm on the Kansas-Colorado border in 1985.

The songwriting duo perform their original compositions on guitar, ukulele, piano, and accordion and have traveled across North America performing with “Dillard and Fullerton's Illusive Traveling Show.”

At the top of the friends list on their website are Amanda Palmer (of The Dresden Dolls) and Jason Webley, who produced their 2007 EP Elephant Elephant and their new full length album Evelyn Evelyn.

The new album is loaded with celebrity guest stars including even Kurt and Courtney's kid Frances Bean Cobain.

It was supposedly three years in the making and the twins are embarking on a world tour to support it. At least that's what the website says.

But a quick Google search of Evelyn Evelyn reveals that they actually ARE Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley.  Evidently the two of them will be performing in some kind of weird Siamese twin drag or something.

They have a whole fake back story about how they saved the twins from a desperate and sad life of sexual abuse and freak show exploitation.

This might make for good theatre but it goes over like a lead balloon with people who actually are disabled.

This is the kind of controversy the Internet was made for and I've seen Palmer and Webley accused of wearing “crip drag” on a couple of websites.

No matter how you look at it, the spectacle of two perfectly healthy individuals masquerading as disabled people goes to some morally questionable territory.

The whole situation is made even more strange and unsettling by the nature of our Internet society and its instantaneous spread of information.

Back in the eighties a tour like this could have happened and no one would have been sure whether they really were Siamese twins or not.  But with today's iPhones and instantaneous communication, the cat's out of the bag before the tour even starts.

So all the clubs advertising these shows are claiming it's a performance by the world's only singing Siamese twins when everyone already knows it's just a couple of people in a weird freak costume.

It's a total emperor wears no clothes post-modern clusterf*ck that could only happen in the digital age.

You could almost ask, well now that everybody knows, why don't they just perform as two people?

I actually want to see the two people contortedly play as one. I want to see what it's like for one hand to play the fretboard while the other strums the chords.

They spent months practicing for this show curled up around each other like a couple of pretzels, they might not be freaks but at least they're contortionists.

Maybe it would be cool if they performed without the costume at all, just the two of them all twisted up around each other.

Have you noticed that I've gotten almost to the end of this article without once mentioning what these imaginary conjoined twins or possibly real separate and not even related non twins' music sounds like?

Oh well, I guess that just reflects the priorities of our modern society and journalism in the digital age. If the show is anything like songs such as “Elephant Elephant” it will be orchestral and layered with rich instrumentation and a sound old fashioned and modern all at the same time.

You only have two nights to see them this Saturday and Sunday night at the Great American Music Hall in SF. Go for the controversy and stay for the music.

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