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June 2004

A Few of My Favorite Things (That don't involve a Need for Medical Attention and/or Bail)

by The Mighty Afrodite

Spring took it's sweet-ass time, and didn't stay long, but now it's summer, never mind the official date.

Thankfully, besides the advent of my birthday, the Big 3-0, (not to be confused with the Big 0, which is also heralded with a great deal of moaning, but is much more enjoyable) Spring had an unusual number of different things that I enjoy, and that most of you enjoy, as well. It was a real warm up of good times to come.

Let me count the ways!

1) The Lucky Devil Circus Sideshow, which operates out of the Coney Island Ten-in-One during the summer, along with The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, brought a different dimension of public spectacle to The Pussycat Lounge, With Lucky Stiff in the Pussycat, every Wednesday night in the cat lounge, And emcee'd by New York's premier Sultans of Swing, Sling, Sleaze and Slurp, The Amazin' Blazin' Tyler Fyre, and Bindlestiff Papa-at-large, Keith Bindlestiff. They gave us sideshow performances that are even more astounding up close, They treated us to the many faceted performances of Insectivora, who neglected her high-protein dietary display in favor of more dimensional and spirited performances of fire manipulation, sword mastery, as well as a playful turn at burlesque. (All this, and she still had enough stamina to catch three pricks in the rear!) Keith Bindlestiff did this great thing with giant yo-yos to the "Knight Rider theme, there were informative lectures from some of New York's most legendary and accomplished sex workers, and even better, there was burlesque. These women took what their fore mothers taught them, and with a creative, passionate energy, have brought the art form into the new millennium, with a more contemporary conceptual design, and a twist of wry good humor.

Oh, and I won panties!

If you missed the winter residency at the Pussycat, don't worry. The Lucky Devil makes it's summer home at Coney Island, where it, as well as many other entertainments and educational offerings are part of the ongoing efforts of Coney Island USA to preserve an important era of New York's History. The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus travels extensively all over the country, and in between, makes it's home at the free museum of Times Square, the former geographical location of another ground-breaking circus/museum headed by a familiar name - P. T .Barnum!

2) Rockabilly. There were two particularly memorable shows: first, April 23rd, Union Pool, our favorite Brooklyn venue for hanging/passing out, hosted an excellent show, made up of three equally hellaciously rockin' bands; Psychocharger, who's line-up now includes Mike Buzzard, taking the occasional break from his fluffing duties to bang skins. It was Mike's first performance with the band, and I have to say, I thought he really turned it up. Psychocharger seemed louder, Jimmy Psycho's guitar lay-down seemed raunchier and sweatier, and the Diabolical Dr. K's bass rhythm seemed more,…well,… diabolical! They were followed to the stage by the Lords of the Highway, and they turned Union Pool into a lowdown, dirty place. It was a pretty democratic band, which is to say that everyone took a turn on the mike and stood out all together. Sugar on the upright, was a serious experience. She slapped that bass around the stage like a well misbehaved man, occasionally stepping up to give us a little growl, a little yowl, and a little purr, while new drummer Peter Yorko kept the jumpin', thumpin' beat all the way through(what stamina), and Dennis Bell thrilled us and killed us with his greasy motor revvin' voice and guitar playing that put one in mind of the kind of religious experience one has with their pants around their ankles. We had a little breathing room, before local favorites The Blind Pharaohs picked up where everybody else left off, with their own brand of fucking-in-the-middle-of-the-Afternoon kind of sound, and of course, pushing the rules by overplaying the sound ordinance curfew at Union Poole by a good half hour.

One week later, on Sunday, May 2nd, I made my way to up-an-coming rock institution The Continental, to check out The opening night of Their new Sunday night "Grand Ol' Opry" show, and to see the Buzzards perform for the very first time! Since ol' Mike Buzzard seems to have his hands full(in every sense of the word), there was a new drummer in town, Dave Buzzard, who stepped up to those drums and effortlessly kept up with several different beats for what ever was needed. As For Guitarist/lead vocal Roy Buzzard and Bassist Tony Buzzard, well, technical proficiency goes with out saying. What really sets these guys apart is their obvious love for the music. These guys love rockabilly more than they love self-promotion. They did twice as many covers as originals, and seemed to sum up their personal motto brilliantly with one original, "Rockabilly Music Saved My Soul". These guys really know what music is all about.

3) CD Release parties! The best one so far, this year, has to have been for Stark's new release, The Curse. Lani Ford bounced back from an emergency appendectomy with energy and life to spare, giving a really burning performance. If Debby Harry had been there, she could have satisfied herself that the rock music she believed in was in good hands. It was quite the little family affair, what with the evocative cover design, as well as an illustrated lyric book designed by eminent, golden hearted bohemian Alan Rand, who has gifted many with his well known artwork and photographic style for years. Lani's Mom and Aunt where there, and took the ambient raucous silliness in good fun, even taking pictures when I gave the Mighty Afrodite Salute during "White Trash R&R Diva".(what? It was appropriate). They went through their set like a hot knife through cold butter, coaxing and pushing the audience at the same time, and giving us a vision of sweaty, cheap beer, dance hall future to come, with as much ready, hard rock as we could listen to. What else can you say about a band that it so inspiring that Banana Fish Zero shows up, not only to provide even more solidarity, but to pay homage with their own clear and present sound, that snotty resonance that says "Fuck you! What the hell did you show up for if you weren't gonna have a good time?" These are the guys you invite to White House functions so you can watch them hit on the First Lady, piss in the soup and spike the punch. It was a tremendous show, with a reaching, undercurrent of revolution that was felt, rather than seen. I wasn't the only one who wouldn't have missed this show for anything. The grand amount of people who showed up included Photographer Pierre Jelenc, who always manages to be in the right place for the right picture, Lundo, Krista of Ripe, The NY Waste's Glenn Wernig, Fellow Diva Heather Larkin was on hand, and of course, Frankie Wood was round and about, as well as his lovely assistants, Kaisa and Nikki, and Ryota, who never saw a show he didn't like. Lisa Lightning boogied down and back up again, and Pam the Metal Queen presided behind the Bar. It was a great night, and Thanks to the CD, which was well engineered and really captured the character and soul of Stark, I don't have to worry about passing on the experience to future generations.

5) A new Generation of Hellraiser is Born! That's right! Nelsha and Gungi Ruggerello are the proud new parents of a lovely and suspiciously alert new bouncing baby girl! Farrah Remy Ruggerello showed up to the party on planet earth on April 29th, 19 inches long, 7lbs., 8 oz.. Congratulations and all my best to the proud happy parents, and to all the grandparents.

6) All the Stuff You're not Supposed to Eat, Brought to you by the People Your Mother Warned You About.

If you're ever down St. Mark's way, between 1st and A, look for the big red hot dog with "Eat Me" on it in swirling mustard, and you will find a great little hidey hole known as Crif Dogs. Crif dogs has been brought to a stretch of St. Mark's, which desperately needs it to temper the proliferation of streamline, trendy eateries by two boys, Kerry and Brian, who went from terrorizing and toilet papering their own childhood neighborhood, to lowering the property values in The East Village. Where do I start? Well, these guys decided to open a very simple place where you could sit in relevant comfort, and stuff your face. While there is a definite theme regarding nostalgia and hotdogs, it is very subtle, manifesting it's self in little details like hot dog cart aluminum siding on the back wall, and wooden picnic tables like the kind everyone's parents had in the back yard. Basically, the general feel and décor of the place (if one could actually refer to it as décor) seems to have come about naturally, as opposed to being contrived for marketing purposes. Which is pretty much what happened. Both the owners pretty much just brought in little things they thought were

Cool or interesting, and hung them up. There's a busted condom machine on one wall, effigies of Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, John Walker Lind, and George Bush hanging from another wall by little nooses, and real arcade games, such as Pacman, and Defender/ Millipede.

The menu isn't as limited as you'd imagine a hot dog place to be. They Have the House, or Crif dog, which is pork and beef and served deep fried. If your arteries protest there is the New Yorker, which is all beef and grilled. And if you don't eat meat at all, it's all good; They even have a very tasty Tofu dog, which approximates the firmness and texture of a meat dog, and is also served grilled. I had one, with fresh chopped tomatoes and cucumbers and it was really great. You can create your own, or they have different combinations, such as my personal favorite, the Tsunami (bacon-wrapped, teriyaki, pineapple and scallions) and the Good Morning (bacon wrapped, fried egg, cheese) which could become my favorite if I'm hung over enough. They even have corn dogs, also available with a veggie dog. All of the toppings are fresh, and prepared fresh, every day, (no, really) and depending on which topping you choose, are anywhere from 25 cents to 75 cents. In fact, the prices might seem a little steep for one hot dog, but they are packed with toppings and it's still under four dollars. And there are daily cheap bastard specials. Mustard, ketchup, relish, sauerkraut and raw onions are free, and if you really want to round out the eating experience, they have tater tots. Real, hot, crisp, greasy tater tots just like when you were a kid, and for a little extra, you get a small trough of cheese sauce to go with it. It's really just a great place to hang out, and eat. Oh, and they sell panties!

So hopefully, the summer will be full of more of our favorite things.

See ya around, Darlings!