Monday, June 8, 2009
Everyone loves a theme party. At least those of us with a closet full of demented garb begging to be worn. It's a way to riff on a life you will never have. Whether it be appropriating the customs of the meatheads and the boozed-out babes who used to antagonize you in your youth, or exercising that childhood dream of running off to join the cirucs, a well executed theme is hard to resist. Especially for chicks who have an almost primal need to play dress up. For dudes it is more about occupying the role of supreme party participant and dressing the part only improves ones chances to reach "life of the party" status. I went to two very different theme nights the weekend before last. A spring break party full of straight dudes who were raised on punk, the anti-frat, doing beer bongs and the final Animal Train Happening. The latter was the seventh and final installment of a series of collaborative parties put on by New York Night Train DJ Jonathan Toubin (the Jew with the most soul) and the crew at Live With Animals (many of whom also play in Golden Triangle.) This final blow-out bash had a circus theme and featured two bands, a hula-hoop performer, a contortionist, and celebrity DJ Jon Spencer.
I arrived to Glasslands early thinking early to party early to bed. That didn't end up happening but it did give me a good chance to survey the scene before it was crowded with sweaty bodies. In these days when it's rare that anyone put effort or love much less time into anything, the lovingly decorated space was amazing. From cotton candy to a projector running a loop of scary old-timey clown heads the beauty was in the details.
It became immediately apparent that aside from the DJ/Ringmaster Jonathan Toubin, the serious costumes were mostly on the ladies and the gays. Jon Spencer didn't even dress up and despite my extra harsh ears when it comes to "celebrity DJs" I must admit his music selections were superior.
Vashti, queen bee of Live with Animals of course looked ridiculously amazing while orchestrating the event.
Sexy majorette Carly dancing her ass of pretty much all night was a sight to behold. She and Vashti are part of the dancing duo the Marmaladies. They make any event better because they have one mission, to dance and they do it so well it makes everyone else want to join in. I want that costume for reasons I don't even know. I'm sure it would come in handy in some context.
This girl was such a perfect combination of scary/amazing that when she perched behind the popcorn booth and started blowing bubbles I nearly got the chills.
Genius drag tip, if the shoes don't fit, tape 'em.
Try Cry Try played with their singer Raul dressed in some serious demon drag crossed with a touch of dirty Dee Snider. With the cross-armed crowd epidemic New York shows can get so boring. It takes someone with balls, albeit balls uncomfortably separated by a thong, to get people going.
There are no words to explain the performance, just take a look at this picture. Trust me, it was way more punk rock than drag show.
Then there was this guy. He appeared around 2 am in full costume out of nowhere. He danced his swimsuited ass off to Preacher and the Knife when they invited everyone on stage. I'm not sure what circus performer he was supposed to be, he looked more Spring Break to me.
Check out that ass.
Preacher and the Knife rounded out the night. They somehow transferred their sound from Birthday Party revival worship with a hint of Captain Beefheart to Afrobeat Calypso party band with a white Fela Kuti pacing around the stage. They also have the best drummer ever.
Obligatory baby shot.
This just makes me laugh.
Somehow I ended up dancing on stage to Ike & Tina's I Idolize You stone cold sober wearing nothing but a crop top and bike shorts covered in skulls. Okay, so that's probably more carnie than circus, but didn't that motorcycle stunt man who rode circles in a caged sphere that always made me think of the Thunderdome always have a slutty looking assistant? Sometimes the party takes you above and beyond.
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