By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
Benefit fatigue has already hit and the summer's only just started. We attended yet another benefit, this one for moveon.org, at Lemon, one of those scary bar-restaurant hybrids that yuppies frequent. On this particular evening, however, a whole cadre of East Village freaks had taken over, including host MURRAY HILL in a three-piece suit, BITCH of BITCH AND ANIMAL sporting brightly colored dreadlocks and arm warmers, and a blonde woman in a purple velvet pantsuit who I recognized but couldn't place. Me to CARY CURRAN: "Oh, I remember you. I've seen you naked." (She's a DAZZLE DANCER, and a member of Big Art Group.)
Inside, safe from the "normal" viewing public, things got all totally gay. Bitch, who's recording an album on ANI DIFRANCO's Righteous Babe label, gave the most politically charged performance of the evening, with songs about 9-11 and Iraq, but most performers merely mentioned how much they dislike Bush before launching into big gay fun.
Ultra-gay pop band THE ISOTONERS played next to last, offering up ditties about bad breath and meeting boys on the L train. (There was a line about how they could tell the boy was from Williamsburg because of his haircut.) One of the Isotoners, CLINT, sat next to me all night babbling deep, dark secrets, and revealed that the group was originally from the Pacific Northwest. "I had a crystal meth problem!" he added brightly. Thanks for sharing! Clint is starting a new Thursday-night party at the Nowhere Bar, called Special Ed and featuring DJ DOWNERCOW. The slogan for the party is "Let's Get Retarded." Do not yell at me. I rode the short bus as a six-year-old.
In honor of all the gay men at the benefit, THE HAZZARDS, two absolutely adorable straight girls in striped Americana outfits with little blue stars on the shoulder straps, sang their hit song "Gay Boyfriend." The girls, SYDNEY MARESCA and ANNE HARRIS, play the ukulele and Casio keyboards, and sing lyrics like "I want a love who will never stray/When he sees other girls, he looks away." The song entered the U.K. charts above SEAL last November at number 67. Over 2 million people have downloaded the a-dor-able video (at ryantown.com), which was directed by RYAN MCFAUL and shows the girls doing things with their perfect gay boyfriends (shopping, crying at movies, cuddling). I've decided: They are my new soul mates, and Clint is my new Gay Boy-friend. Will someone just hire me as a Professional Fag Hag so I can quit this friggin' gig?
After the Hazzards, two queens wearing Bush masks, socks up to the knees, and little else came onstage and stared down Murray Hill, who yelled at them, "Look at the audience! You're freaking me out." JOHN CAMERON MITCHELLclosed the show with a ditty, but immediately forgot his own lyrics and asked, "Does anyone know this song?" No, dear, and it's clear you don't either!
He also probably didn't know that SELMA BLAIR isn't a total beyatch. The witchy-seeming actress showed up at the Misshapes bash at Luke & Leroy the night before (full disclosure: I've DJ'd the party, they paid me, I loved it) and upon losing her wallet went to the DJ booth, where it had been found. She tried to give promoter GREG K money for finding her wallet (he politely refused), and even tipped the bartenders well. Shocking celebrity news, really.
More interesting is the e-mail that's been making the rounds, in which Balihu Records house producer DANIEL WANG, who is living in Berlin, writes about a discussion and disagreement he had with British producer MATTHEW HERBERT. It seems Herbert is boycotting gigs in Israel and the U.S. because he doesn't want to play countries that are occupying powers, but Wang pointed out the obvious: Most of the fans Herbert would be playing for in the U.S. are at least in agreement with him on U.S. Iraq policy. Writes Wang: "Any nation is a complex mixture of people who might agree or disagree with its dominant national policies; I wonder if one can simply 'boycott a nation,' wholesale, by refusing to play there." Herbert was too busy to comment. Perhaps the smarter route is to do like German DJ PAUL VAN DYK: Play some Rock the Vote and political gigs to raise awareness and get voters registered. Or hell, even another benefit. I'll go.