If you throw in the sassiness of CSS, plus the raunchiness of Peaches and add just a sprinkle of merengue-kinky you get Miti Miti. Rita Indiana and Raina Mast recently began this musical experiment on the underground jipster scene in Puerto Rico and fans are starting to come out like ants running to a big bowl of mangú. The girls are not hard to miss, both are amazonian guapas, Raina is 5’10″, while Rita stands 6’3″, so when they walk into a room people take notice. The chicas met up with Marcelo and Amylu of Nacotheque at the Electronic Conga Club in San Juan, and after lots of oohh’s and aaahh’s from everyone including me, the girls will be performing this Saturday the 22nd at Nacotheque’s Second Anniversary. After the mellowness of Balún last Nacotheque, all my dear cosmopolatinos will get a dose of merengue-raunchiness that will surely leave everybody begging for more.
Here’s a brief Q&A that I had with the girls en-route to Zurich.
So, besides panties and lots of fabulous clothing, what can we find inside of Miti Miti’s luggage?
We don’t pack light, but most of the time there are more cables and papier mache than stuff to wear. In airports, we get stopped and told to take the heads off of puppets and show the paperwork that proves that the turpentine we use is made of oranges and has a flash point of 178 degrees fahrenheit, which is above flying restrictions. Speakers get wrapped in fluffy sweaters, paints go in a 1950s green vanity box, accessories get jammed in outside pockets last with needles and thread and extra velcro. Carry-on includes giant white head masks, which are filled with snacks like salami and casabe. The pottery wheel can be disassembled into two parts of about 50 pounds each, which is basically a whole suitcase weight limit, so it’s better to ship it Fed-Ex. Bikes get given away, the cat stays behind until we can come back and get it. Miti Miti’s most conveniently packed visual art projects to date are quilts.
What are your main influences for your music?
Raina: Dee-Lite, basketball warm up tapes, Stevie Wonder, Philadelphia Conservatory of Dance, I and I Got the Beat Magazine circa 1987, Indigo Girls, St. Bernards Church, Kronos Quartet, Steel Pulse, Bjork, Bonnie Rait, Bone Thugs and Harmony, Bruce Springstein, Ani Difranco, Whitney Houston, Got Five Pockets in My Overalls, Dennis Rodman, Hellen Keller, Donna Summers, Wilson Phillips, Sun Ra.
Ritz: Grace Jones, Johnny Ventura, Jacques Cousteau, Dominican TV, Poverty, Slayer, Snap!, Amanda Miguel, Yuca Honda, Vico-C, queer masters like Pasolini, Almodovar, Severo Sarduy, William Burroughs and Fassbinder, La Coco Band, La Invención de Morel, Moloko, Agustín Lara con y sin María Felix, the Doors, Fluxus, Carlos Castaneda, Jack Smith, Moreno Negrón, Nomi y Santo Domingo Abril 1965.
How did the brilliant idea of Miti Miti come about?
Miti Miti grew from a bunch of artistic arguments. We had worked together in a collaboration with Carlos Ortiz, calling ourselves Los Niños Envueltos. While we loved working with Carlos, he stayed in Santo Domingo and we went to New York in 2006. Miti Miti became the name for the projects we did together or invaded after the one started something and the other decided to meter la mano. The alter-ego provided the freedom for things to do outside of our individual work as a writer (Rita) and a painter/ceramicist (Raina). Miti Miti was the excuse to work together on music, performance, puppets, video art, installations, comic books, dance. Our first song was recorded in Audacity with an egg timer and flute–Audacity doesn’t give you intruments like Garage Band–and it was called “Harlem, Where’d You Put my Honey Bun” and was submitted as a photo soundtrack for an exhibition in Santo Domingo in 2006, the first time we used the pseudonym publicly. The more we work together on projects of different media, the clearer the definition and goals of Miti Miti become.
Excited about playing for all of the cosmopolatinos in Nuebayol? Think they’ll be ready for you two?
We’re glad to have missed the winter this year but we miss New York and our loved ones there and around there. We hope they’ll get on their respectable trains and buses to come since none of them live in that exact neighborhood. And we have lots of new people to meet that have sent MySpace messages saying they’re coming, so they better, because some of them appear to be very nice and smart and caring and good looking, etc. You know, everyone loves to be around happy, beautiful people and it would be great to fill the room with good energy of people that are enjoying what we’re doing and want to have a good time. It sounds like hippy shit, but it’s what we’re hoping for.
If you could tell me one thing that you miss the most from your home towns what would it be?
Raina: The Delaware River
Rita: The light
If you want a preview of what you’ll hear, log into myspace.com/themitimiti