Sex Workers Art Show at the Knitting Factory, New York, NY, March 7, 2006
Julie Atlas Muz's asshole is like Angelina's lips, Sinatra's blue eyes, Tina Turner's legs iconic. It can incite envy in even the most fetching of puckers. Downtown's reigning queen of performance art was but one of the many brazen hussies peddling their goods at the Sex Workers Art Show. The national tour, founded by Annie Oakley (not the cowgirl), made its NYC stop at the stifling Knitting Factory, and the smells of beer and intercourse were floating in the air like lead pigeons.
Simone de la Getto belted out a rendition of Donna Summer's "Last Dance," except Simone sang "Last Chance For a Lap Dance." Ms. de la Getto has the distinction of being the founder/artistic director of the only existing black burlesque group, Harlem Shake Burlesque. And she can sing, too! Sorta! Artist/filmmaker Bridget Irish took the stage buck naked and set out in a hurry to find envelopes taped to the bottom of audience members' chairs while the theme song from "Mission Impossible" played. It was like watching a scavenger hunt, but with pubes. Then it came time for Julie Atlas Muz to perform. Wearing jailbird pinstripes, JAM stripped down to a front-less jockstrap while Judas Priest's "Breakin' the Law" shook the speakers. With her ass to the audience, JAM parted her butt cheeks and made her asshole "sing" the lyrics. Then her pussy sang. Then JAM enthusiastically smelled her fingers and saluted before exiting. Sex workers make the best art ever.
Towers of London at the Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY, March 21, 2006
There was a shortage of ball-room at the Bowery Ballroom when Towers of London took the stage wearing quite possibly the tightest jeans I've seen on (presumably) straight men in a damn long time. Skinny pale things with hair-sprayed manes and cigarettes dangling from their lips, the Towers looked like Skid Row circa Slave to the Grind and sound like those glorious 80s hair-metal bands with a healthy dose of Sex Pistols' snide and filthy demeanor. Their stage show was full of more rock-n-roll clichés than Spinal Tap: sprayed beer, reckless spitting, heckling the crowd, climbing on amps, visible ribcage on the shirtless drummer, scissor kicks, egregious guitar solos, and hot chicks in the balcony who made out with each other (albeit briefly, but yes, I did take the bait and yes, I'm writing about it). They sounded as disheveled as they looked, but it felt good to see some dangerous, cheesy punk. "New York sucks!..." shouted the singer, "...me off."
Buckcherry shot out of the cannon way before any retro-loving, tousle-haired rock bands even got out of bed. When disbanding after 2001's Time Bomb tour, Josh Todd and co-songwriter/guitarist Keith Nelson dabbled in the ill-fated "GnR Project" with the former members of Guns N Roses. Now, Buckcherry has regrouped and delivered Fifteen, the band's third album full of guitar lust and devilish energy. NYRock chatted with the rather demure Josh Todd (must be the California in him) about the new incarnation of Buckcherry, crazy bitches, and the business side of making music.
What were you and Keith looking for in new bandmates?
What we were looking for was guys who wanted to be in a band, wanted to be in Buckcherry and wanted to be part of a team. Not a bunch of guys who want to come in and get a paycheck and be a hired-gun type mentality where they're only around if it's gonna fly, and if it doesn't fly then they're outta there. We really wanted band members, you know? Everybody thought we had all this money and we just didn't.
Tell me about the song "Crazy Bitch." I want to know about some of your favorite crazy bitches.
(laughs) Well, you know, there was a point in my life where I had a lot of crazy bitches. A "crazy bitch" is just a girl that you have this really amazing physical connection with but when it comes to communication, like, there's nothing going on. And you keep going back because the sex is so good but eventually it fizzles out because after about six months of that you gotta talk at some point. So that's what "Crazy Bitch" is about. It's not about anybody in particular. But I've had a few of them in my past. I think every guy does. I think there's a crazy bitch in every girl.
I bet if I asked some of your exes they'd say you were a crazy bitch, too.
Yeah, I'm sure. They'd probably call me a crazy "dick" not a "bitch."
Let's talk about you as a performer. You've got the whole sleazy soulful rock thing going on, but after 10 years in this business, the wisdom you gained plus dealing with all the bullshit that's come your way, has it changed you as far as your performance is concerned?
I don't think it's changed me as a performer because I'm always, I really care about my job and about my place in the grand scheme of things. So you know, even without a record deal, without all of this, when I started out, performance was really important to me. It was really important to work on my craft and develop my craft and I'd be doing that even if I didn't have a record deal. I don't know if it's changed that. It's definitely changed the way I conduct myself and how I look at making records.
What about conducting yourself have you learned?
I learned a lot of what not to do. And that's really what a lot of musicians go through. Because most entertainers aren't doing it because they're college-educated business-school scholars, you know. We don't go to school. We drop out and do music because that's the only thing that makes sense. Usually. Most of us. It took me a while to understand that your band is a business and you have to start looking at it that way no matter how much you don't want to look at it. You want to be an artist. But there's a balance; there's a way to do both: be an artist and a good businessman. And that's what I've learned over the years. Everything's starting to work out. Thank God I have an opportunity to be in this game because it's short lived for most people. There's a very small percentage of bands that get to have a career after five years.
Do you think Chinese Democracy will ever be released?
Heh. I don't know. It probably will because contractually they probably gotta release it at some point. Whether or not there will be a consistent tour schedule behind it, I highly doubt it.
You could totally kick Axl's ass anyway.
Ha ha, I don't know about that. He's a firecracker.
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by Jeanne Fury:
Mar '06: Andrew WK, The Vacation, Electric Six
Dec '05: The Ark, Tim Fite, Living Things, Independent Music Video Festival
Nov '05: Living Things, Bonk, God Forbid, Early Man, Face to Face, Secret Mommy, Various artists at the Continental
Oct '05: Black Halos, Fireball Ministry
Aug '05: Ronnie Spector
Jul '05: HomoCorps
Jun '05: The Hold Steady, Mastodon
Apr '05: Autolux, Supagroup
Mar '05: Kasabian
Jan '05: Juliette and the Licks
Nov '04: Ramones Beat on Cancer
Sept '04: Lamb of God
Jul '04: Avril Lavigne, The Shocker
May '04: Liars, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Stellastarr*, Ambulance LTD, Hurry-Up Offense, Lunachicks
Mar. '04: Suicide Girls
Jan. '04: Franz Ferdinand
Dec. '03: Stills, Gits, Opti-Grab, Toilet Boys, Modey Lemon, Slumber Party, Funeral for a Friend, Cougars, Fireball Ministry
Oct. '03: Billy Idol, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and the Warlocks
Aug. '03: The Lawrence Arms, None More Black, The Star Spangles
Jul. '03: Drive-By Truckers, Barbez, Dresden Dolls, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum
Jun. '03: Fannypack, Liam Lynch, Stratford 4, Nada Surf, Amazombies, ARE Weapons, Deadly Snakes, Essential Logic
Apr. '03: Turbonegro, Madball
Mar. '03: Manda and the Marbles, Count the Stars, American Hi-Fi
Feb. '03: Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, Tiger Mountain, Blood Brothers
Jan. '03: Enon, Penny Arcade
Dec. '02: Lost City Angels, McLusky, Black Keys, World/Inferno Friendship Society
Nov. '02: CMJ, Diamanda Galas, Longwave, Division of Laura Lee
Oct. '02: Sights, ESG, Princess Superstar, Bush Tetras
Sept. '02: Original Sinners, Northern State, Opti-Grab
Aug. '02: Paybacks, Gore Gore Girls, Cato Salsa Experience, Burning Brides
Jul '02: Bantam, Girls Against Boys, the Makers, the Bangs
Jun '02: Slut Em Go, Darediablo, the Liars, the Chromatics, Lovelife
May '02: Hellacopters, Gaza Strippers, Lunachicks
Apr. '02: Distillers, Nekromantix
Feb. '02: Metropolis Fest, Bianca Butthole Benefit, Le Tigre
Jan. '02: Sam Bisbee
Dec. '01: El Vez and Tammy Faye Starlite
Nov. '01: Tracy and the Plastics, Crowns on 45
Oct. '01: Reid Paley
Sept. '01: Ladyfest East
Aug. '01: Betty Blowtorch and Candy Ass
Jul. '01: Porcupine Tree
May '01: Ladyfest East Benefit, the Bellrays and the Greenhornes
Apr. '01: She-Rock-O-Rama, Blast Furnace
Mar. '01: Babe the Blue Ox, the Gossip, Knoxville Girls, White Stripes
Feb. '01: Sarah Dougher, Glen Phillips and John Mayer
Jan. '01: Melissa Ferrick
Dec. '00: Joy Askew
Nov. '00: Natasha and the MGB
Oct. '00: Heather Eatman
Aug. '00: Miracle of '86, Ultimate Fakebook, Sit n' Spin
July '00: Chickfest 2000
by Mistress Persephone:
Apr '00: Joan Jett and Reverend Horton Heat
Feb '00: Elvis tribute at the Continental featuring Mr. Monster, Needlehead, X-Possibles
Dec '99: The Serpenteens
Oct '99: Misfits
by Miss Adena:
Aug '99: Cabaret
July '99: Ancel and the Electric Church
June '99: Tuuli from Toronto rocks CBGB
May '99: The Rise and Fall of Bikini Contest
by Didi Delicious:
01/11/99: the Velvet Mafia
12/04/98: the Misfits
10/19/98: Didi interviews DJ Chumley and DJ Quick
09/01/98: Hellfire '98 (benefit for NY Underground Film Festival) featuring Double Dong and Go-Go Pup
07/28/98: Mad Daddys, Nina Hagen, Blondie
06/04/98: the first annual New York City Tattoo Convention
05/02/98: Didi's S&M Special with Flesh Fetish
03/28/98: No More Tears and Soft Parade
02/27/98: Ace Frehley, Sebastian Bach, Mick Rock, Lenny Kaye, ex-Foreigner Mick Jones, ex-Hanoi Rocks Michael Monroe, the new Max's Kansas City, Joy Ryder, Misstress Formika
01/30/98: King Norris, Karen Black, more
12/26/97: Ramones, The Dictators, The Undead, more
11/29/97-12/11/97: Sexus, Princess Superstar, more
09/19/97-10/26/97: Blowtop, Crazy Raymond & the Watchdogs, more
05/21/97-08/17/97: Toilet Boys, Nashville Pussy, Turbo A.C.s, Waldos, Sisters Grimm, The Independents, more
01/18/97-03/30/97: Sea Monster, Speed McQueen, Bombshell, Dee Dee Ramone, Jayne County, more
09/19/96-12/19/96: Coyote Shivers, The Living Daylights, more
07/23/96-09/09/96: Electric Frankenstein, The Wild Bunch, more