By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
The first time I saw FISCHERSPOONER, I really, really hated them. All the artifice seemed, well, too artificial, and the media hype outweighed the reality. What a difference a few years make. Since electroclash has become a punchline, CASEY SPOONERand WARREN FISCHERhave remade themselves yet again, this time as a real band (Spooner forgoes lip-synching for actual singing), with a show that only has one self-conscious stop-in-the-middle-of-the-song-and-start-over ploywhich used to be the entire F/S gimmick. Two weeks into their month-long residency at the Canal Room, the band's still working out the kinks, and Spooner's trying to figure out the light show and whether or not they should wear costumes. Last week, they wore all white; this week they came out as a demented baseball team, with The Warriors-style black and white face makeup. Casey said one of the band members griped about the makeup"I just wanna rock!" I asked him if the poor kid was aware what band he'd joined.
DAVID BYRNE watched the performance from the V.I.P. lounge, sitting near the Wooster Group's LIZ LECOMPTE and KATE VALK. I tried in vain to separate ANDREW ANDREWsporting a "Where's Waldo" lookfrom each other. I almost succeeded when Byrne talked to one of the Andrews, but even Byrne said, "I don't think it's physically possible." The one Andrew was speaking to the former TALKING HEADSsinger about how he's been trying to find an obscure Byrne project, Music for the Knee Plays, but was dismayed to find out that even Byrne himself doesn't have it. In the meantime, the Andrews are ditching iPods for iRadios, which makes for exciting and unexpected sets since you can only play what's already on the station. That's one stunt I actually want to see.
In other news, the long-awaited unveiling of Cattyshack, co-owned by Meow Mix chick BROOKE WEBSTER, is upon us. She shows off the Park Slope ladies' venue to friends and family this weekend. The two-level spot will open to the public just in time for Gay Pride month, which means all the gals will have something to do after the parade.
And the man responsible for one of my favorite dance records of all time is retiring from DJ'ing. Chicago house producer LIL' LOUIS is best known for "French Kiss," the 1987 track distinguished by its mid-song tempo change and a woman's (very) ecstatic moans. The record went on to sell 5 million copies worldwide, and like another sexy song, DONNA SUMMER's "I Feel Love" (produced by GIORGIO MORODER), sounds just as fresh today. Lil' Louis is celebrating his retirement, and his foray into filmmaking and writing, with an 11-hour marathon set on Friday, May 20, at Spirit. Before he disappeared into the abyss, I wanted the backstory on the record that always sets my ass on fire.
"I was dating a young lady who was as freaky as I was, and we were having a late-night chat, on the phone, if you know what I mean," he says. "I had just come up with this groove'French Kiss'and she was talking about the difference between she and I and when we made love and what happened to her with a few guys before. She was telling me this guy was handsome, but he came real fast and that really bothered her. She was trying to figure it out. As she was talking, I started speeding the song up and slowing it down. I said, 'I gotta call you back!' and dropped the phone. I decided that I was going to change the tempo of the song. Later, we had a session in the studio and it was a real session. I always wanted to get as close to what was really happening as possible. With 'French Kiss' I felt that I got pretty close to that feeling. It was a very authentic session and I recorded it." So there you have it. "French Kiss" was the real deal.