Queen of Mean

Jackie Beat tears you a new one, and you like it; Detroit's disco d sells out

You have to be an abject fool to sit in the front row of a JACKIE BEATshow. That or a sadomasochist, 'cause all you're gonna get for your money is beat up by the bitchy, witchy, incredibly witty drag performer.

I even told the guy working the door (who says he's LOU REED's second cousin, but has never met the guy because of a rift in the family—except once while walking down the street when he went to pet the rocker's dog) not to seat me up front, because I knew what a torture chamber that position would be.

So while I kind of felt sorry for the people near the stage at Fez last Sunday for Jackie's one-off jam, I also relished the moment when she tore into the poor folks. A pre-school teacher named Katie, eating a veggie burger, was with a sensitive-man type with longish hair—mistaken by Jackie for a lesbian—who was also a pre-school teacher and eating a veggie burger (but not touching his bun). Ms. Beat waved her claws in front of the two hapless victims and sniffed, "Ladies and gentlemen, I've been doing comedy for 12 years and I am getting nothing here. You are so boring." Then, "You are so fucking fired. You are at the nastiest show downtown."

Beat on the attack
photo: Tricia Romano
Beat on the attack

That they were, and also possibly the sharpest too, as Jackie takes popular songs and rewrites the lyrics into scathing diatribes on gay life, politics, race, sex, drugs, and COLIN FARRELL's personal-hygiene habits (supposedly he smells), and did I mention the gay sex? (One song, "Choke Like an Egyptian," modeled after "Walk Like an Egyptian," was particularly shining.)

Beat's a lean, mean bitch machine. (So mean that MICHAEL MUSTO is no longer a fan, since she once turned her tart tongue on our Mikey.) The show included some of her classics, like last year's "Bomb Iraq" set to the tune of FLOCK OF SEAGULLS' "I Ran" (sample lyric: "Bomb Iraq, it's the only way!") and "From a Distance," a retooled BETTE MIDLER ditty, now about how drag queens look oh-so-scary up close, which went something like, "From a distance, you are beautiful, but up close you're totally gross and obviously a man." (Ahem, we didn't want to say anything, but since you mentioned it . . . ) Her version of MARY J. BLIGE's "No More Drama," inspired by her theory that if drama classes were banned in high schools it would logically follow that there'd be no more gays, brought the house down—including MISS GUY and MISSTRESS FORMIKA, both out of drag, the girls from CANDY ASS, and SqueezeBox's MICHAEL SCHMIDT.

Ms. Beat, who started out in L.A., lived in New York, and moved back to L.A., is also the lead singer in the band DIRTY SANCHEZ with ex–New Yorker MARIO DIAZ (who once ran the Cock, and whose couch I once crashed on). "I can just hop in my car and go wherever I want," she says of L.A. "The ultimate irony is there's nowhere I wanna go."

She lives with her terrier, a "Toto" dog named BABY, and Mario, whose career has reached the Hollywood hot zone—he's currently filming a commercial in Brazil and stars in the Listerine PocketPak commercials. "His bad breath finally paid off," she says.

As for Ms. Beat, she's not above selling out to the Hollywood machine herself. "I'm always wheeling and dealing. I'm like a whore—if I have to shake things up and move to another corner, move the skirt up a few inches, I'll do it. My goal now is to become a high-class hooker. Get off the street. I hope people realize these are all metaphors," she says, adding for clarification, "I am not really a trannie hooker."

Speaking of selling out, Detroit DJ and ghetto-tech producer DISCO D announced recently that last week would be his last Booty Bar party at Filter 14. The reason: He's pursuing his "exploding career as a more mainstream hip-hop and dancehall producer," according to an e-mail sent to owner Tommy Frayne. I would say that is the smart decision, since songs with titles like "Ass 'N' Titties" ain't about to cross over to the pop charts anytime soon. Although songs with videos featuring ass and titties do just fine, thanks. Trannie hookers need not apply.


tromano@villagevoice.com

 
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