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!