By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Apparently everything CHICKS ON SPEED do is art. That seemed to be the m.o. of the Berlin-based trio's exhibit/performance "It's A Project" at Deitch Projects last week. If you walked through the large warehouse gallery space in Soho during the day prior to the show, you would have witnessed people painting and sewing, and the Chix themselves working on music upstairs. The Chicks are selling a book that's also a bag that's also an Artistic Statement. Really though, they're better known for their music, and that's what everyone came for on Friday and Saturday night, including LARRY TEE, LADY MISS KIER, and the fashion collective AS FOUR (whose ridiculous Star Wars commander-gone-hippie space outfits resembled Chicks on Speed's intentionally silly stage clothes).
The first performer was someone named ANAT, who wore a blond wig, a double-breasted jacket, shorts, and severe makeup. She played the part of a Germanic s/m queen and shouted over industrial music. A friend said, "She is going to give me nightmares." She gave me a headache.
The second performer goes by the name KEVIN BLECHDOM, but her real name is Kristin Erickson. She wore a long puffy dress befitting a Renaissance Faire and played an electric banjo, backing herself with electronic blips. She sang weird ditties with lyrics like "Ever since I got my boob job I don't have to write good songs no more."
Her finale had even the most jaded stone-faced art assholes in New York grinning from ear to ear and shouting. A rendition of "I Will Always Love You" started off straight and sweet and quickly turned demented. At one point, she sucked on a nearby helium-filled balloon and continued singing in an unnaturally squeaky register. At the end, she parodied WHITNEY HOUSTON's bombastic version when the drum drops and Houston sings histrionically in a higher note, "AiIIIIeeee will always LOOOOOVE youuuuuuu." But the drumbeat kept coming, and with each beat she sang in higher and higher octaves that would have made DIAMANDA GALAS jealous. It was genius. Chicks on Speed were probably pissed they booked her to open for them because that was one helluva tough act to follow. They followed it well enoughbut even a rendition of "We Don't Play Guitars" with scary Anat headbanging onstage couldn't compete with Miss B.
Avalon had a peculiar run-in with the law recently. Apparently, the club forgot to pay a meager $280 for its food-handling permit, leading the Department of Health to shut the club down April 9. A female health inspector posted the notice on the door and was roundly booed by the 600 clubgoers waiting in line, says a spokesperson for the club. They opened the next day after ELLIOTT MARCUS, an assistant commissioner of the Health Department, gave the OK. Avalon says the city lost $8,000 in projected tax revenue over the mix-up.
The folks in the queue at Avalon that night would appreciate the Best Party Karma story ever. NELSON GEORGE, author, film producer, and critic, was waiting in line to get inside Q-TIP's recent birthday party. The door person told him to wait. Just then, P. DIDDY walks out and says, "Nelson! Are we still having lunch on Monday?" Vroosh! (That's the sound of a velvet rope moving at sonic speed.)
They really did have lunch on Monday. "We talked about Black Man Shit," says George, who has created a cottage industry out of writing about just that. He's currently touring the country in support of the movie Everyday People, for which he served as executive producer, and may be directing a movie. The subject: More Black Man Shit. "Somebody's got to do it," he says.
Other BMS: OK, so spotting ICE-T waiting patiently for his fiancée, COCOa blonde Jessica Simpson look-alike on acid, wearing all pink (including, jeans, T-shirt, boots, and fluffy jacket)at the nail salon Dashing Diva isn't really news, but it was funny. Also, he was subjected to more pink (bright fuchsia, the color of the entire store) and MICHELLE BRANCH videos. Remember: This is the man who wrote "Cop Killer."