don't know what the hell I'm doing in Oregon. Most of my
far-away buddies would be hard pressed to say what country
it's in, much less find it on a map. I had no reason to
move here, other than to avoid the east coast, midwest,
Seattle, San Fran, and LA. But time and time again I find
myself thanking my up-to-now lucky stars for landing me
in this grey Eden. Last month I had another one of those
blissouts. A weekend of some of the best entertainment I've
witnessed in my little life. It went like this.
On Friday, February 11th, the oft-deserted but supah-swanky
Union Jacks was packed mirror-to-mirror for a trio of punk
bands!! I've yearned for this intersection of live music
and live nude girls for years now. Two great things that
go great together, right? Well, when I sang "Blue Moon"
à la Blue Velvet at Union Jacks two years
ago, the place was full of regular regulars who would rather
have had a table dance. These days, the new rawker regulars
pour into UJ's and pile as close to the rack as they can
get to see a $5 rock'n'roll circus with a stripper who tries
her best to gyrate between amplifiers.
Kicking off this kick-ass show was the Singapore Slings.
I love this band! They look sloppy, but are sooo tight!
Brilliant! I'm in love with their must-be adolescent bass
player; asked him to marry me. Up next were the slick Goddamn
Gentlemen, then that fatally fabulous car crash Coco
Cobra and the Killers. Coco was well-lubed, slurrin'
somethin' like "more Jägermeister!" between hits "I
Need Sex," "I Need a Man," "(I Can't Get Off) Without You,"
and the ever-popular "I Hate You." Apparently when Union
Jacks hands out drink tickets, they ain't for the usual
PBR, but for shots of Jack Daniels!! Whoopee! Plus, Coco
says it really is supergroovy to
a chick getting nekkid while your band gets the rock off.
Saturday night at bitchin' new bar Dante's warmed
the cold cockles of my fuck-February heart with four velvety
hours of honest-to-God BURLESQUE. Pander/Vero's Lust-O-Rama
featured Pornland's finest music, words, film, and skin.
It was Dante's grand opening, and the joint was exactly
what my fondest imaginings of HELL are like: cozy and red,
filled with well-liquored Bad people, a deep stage with
red velvet curtains and fabulous curvy girls campily introducing
luminous entertainers. My favorite living poet, Portland's
own incendiary genius Walt Curtis, was at his best,
delivering selections old and new, including the Grammy-contender
"Zucchini!" The Pander Brothers showed Suck It
and See, Kitty Diggins graced us with her heavenly
fan dance, Seantos y Arachna churned out a very David
Lynch set of musica, and I, Viva las Vegas, let people
EAT OUT MY BOX! For free! The whole thing was very Lynchian--my
highest compliment! I hope Dante's maintains this vibe,
cuz it was Soulfood. Long may it nourish.
Sunday night was Lucy Fur's eagerly awaited Twentieth
Century Underwear Revue. A glittering menagerie of Portland's
most marvelous, gorgeous and high-end entertainers donated
time and talent and got everybody off with a great girly
show. All proceeds from the door were donated to Portland
Area Privacy Alliance, which is working to protect the rights
of sexworkers [i.e. everyman/everywoman]. Berbati's Pan
was stuffed to capacity with hipster guys and gals--the
Johnny Sole nation supporting the arts! Papillon
closed this scintillating Valentine's eve with their smooth
'n' sultry French pop. Bliss out.
So if the rain's got ya down this month, remember that it
waters the manic depressives who fashion the guts of our
truly remarkable creative scene. It might not seem like
all that, but it is what all the hip-makers from
NYC, etc. keep belching. Portland is COOL. I say it's cuz
her heart is pure burlesque: the crummy stage that is the
epitome of the underground, the borders of society where
the beats were birthed, the low brow cutting edge. At the
heart of good burlesque is the potent cross-pollination
of art, music, politics, naughtiness and booze, and it's
no small thing when you get the egobrats from these various
camps to cooperate for anything, much less drink tickets!
Yet that's where Portland shines, when her brilliant peacocks
collaborate and keep the short attention spans of the FOX/MTV/www.
audience occupied for a few hours, just long enough for
a suspicion to sneak into their collective subconscious.
The revolution will not be televised. The revolution
will be LIVE.