Dan Fishback

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Dan Fishback (born November 4, 1981 in Washington D.C.) is a Jewish-American performance artist, playwright and singer-songwriter who is heavily associated with that city's anti-folk movement.[1]

Life and work[edit]

Fishback has been writing and performing in New York City since 2003. His work includes experimental and musical theater, punk rock, twee-pop, and monologue-based solo performance, and includes overt, radical politics and humor. Fishback is the director of the Helix Queer Performance Network, a collaboration between La MaMa Experimental Theater Club, the Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics, and BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange.[2]

In 2011, he performed a multimedia solo piece called thirtynothing which combines biographical information and content about gay artists who have died. The Advocate listed the show in its "Hot Sheet" calling it "bold and biting"[3] Time Out New York called The Material World "the best downtown musical in years," and named it one of the Top Ten Plays of 2012. The Village Voice called You Will Experience Silence "sassier and more fun than Angels in America."[4]

Also a performing songwriter, Fishback got his start in the East Village's anti-folk scene. His band, Cheese On Bread, has toured Europe and North America in support of their two full-length albums, "Maybe Maybe Maybe Baby" (2004) and "The Search for Colonel Mustard" (2007), the latter of which was re-issued in Japan in 2010 on Moor Works Records. As a solo artist, Fishback has released several recordings, including "Sweet Chastity" (2005, produced by César Alvarez of The Lisps), "Strange Little Faggots" (2006), Calendar Boys (2008), and his latest, "The Mammal Years" (2012, produced by Casey Holford).[5]

While his work with Cheese On Bread is characteristically childlike, Fishback also fronts a darker band, The Faggots, which boasts a harder rock sound. Unlike Cheese On Bread, which has garnered mostly positive publicity, The Faggots have prompted controversy in the press.[6][7]

Fishback released a full-length solo album, Sweet Chastity (Luv-a-Lot Records), in 2005, followed by an EP of cover songs, Strange Little Faggots, in 2006, and Calendar Boys (Off-Stage Fright Productions, 2008). His most recent solo record, The Mammal Years, was released online in 2012. Produced by Casey Holford, it features contributions from Cheese on Bread guitarist Dibson T. Hoffweiler and Pansy Division Drummer Luis Illades.

In 2007 Fishback recorded an audio performance-art piece called Faggotssaywhat? for the anti-folk compilation album Anticomp Folkilation

In September, 2006, Fishback was the subject of a piece on the PBS newsmagazine program In The Life.

His essay, Times Are Changing, Reb Tevye, was published in Mentsh: On Being Jewish and Queer (Alyson Books, 2004). He regularly visits colleges all over the country to speak on queer and Jewish issues.

Fishback was part of the punk dance troupe Underthrust, which collaborated with singer/songwriter Kimya Dawson on several performances and videos. His essay "Times Are Changing, Reb Tevye" appeared in the anthology Mentsh: On Being Jewish & Queer (Alyson Books, 2004), and was followed by several self-produced zines, including A Very Small Hole (2005) and What Have They Done To You? (2008). His visual installation, "Pen Pals," was featured in the 2011 Soho exhibition of the Pop-Up Museum of Queer History, for which he later served on the Selection Committee.[5]


  1. ^ Davis, Mark (April 25, 2006). "Wordplay Ground: Sweet Chastity". The Advocate. Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "Helix Queer Performance Network". Hemispheric Institute. Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  3. ^ Brandon Voss (October 7, 2011). "Hot Sheet Rosie Belli". The Advocate. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  4. ^ Eli Epstein-Deutsch (Apr 15, 2009). "You Will Experience Silence—Sassier Than Angels in America - Page 1 - Theater - New York - Village Voice". The Village Voice. Retrieved 12 November 2013.  C1 control character in |title= at position 28 (help)
  5. ^ a b http://www.danfishback.com/index.php?/about/
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-12-25. Retrieved 2006-12-22. 

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