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
A much calmer club, Antik Lounge, has taken over the space of the old Marquee Lounge (on Bowery), where I used to enjoy a lovely burlesque show or 12. But now the place has chandeliers and potted leaves and looks like an Addams Family foyer for more tasteful relations. The downstairs space, the Slide—where I slid into debauchery with many a go-go boy—has become a nice English-style pub called Kings Cross, courtesy of the very same Antik people. Sip your ale and stay on your stool while gently cooing "sandal" but never "scandal."
By the way, when did New York become Fort Lauderdale without palm trees? You can't even get a bench at a fucking Chipotle without waiting on line!
But at least there's a bright side: You can't go to a club or a gay bar lately without seeing "When We Get Together," the new video by downtown-favorites-made-good the Ones. The trippy clip takes the trio of club legends and former Patricia Field workers—Nashom Wooden, JoJo Americo, and Paul Alexander—and mixes them up with a variety of campy and vampy guest stars for a flashier version of the head-morphing once used in Michael Jackson's "Black or White" video. And these three creatures are every bit as rarefied as Jacko, but in a much more willful, artful way.
As Paul Alexander told me, their new NYC Jungle CD was released because the A Touch of Class–produced 25-track one "is entirely too much music. We can't even go through it. It's DJ-friendly, but not consumer-friendly." The new, streamlined CD—with absolutely no James Bond themes or shout-outs—may also help brand the group in the States, where they haven't cracked that anti-glitter wall yet. "We're just getting into the psyche of the American market," said Alexander. "We've never attempted to be anything here. What happened to us in Europe [including two hit records and a Top of the Pops appearance] was organic."
Not that Europe is totally welcoming either, mind you. During a concert in Marseilles, some horny homophobe threw a bottle of water at the group and made them look like "Weather on the Ones." But these queens—in all their war paint and shiny finery—are built for endurance. As Alexander explained their dynamic: "Nashom is a very strong character, and sometimes he is as powerful as both JoJo and I together. As you can see, his body mass is almost two times ours, as is his personality. But at times, he's docile and small and babylike. We all have our fluctuations, our strengths and weaknesses." Alexander himself? "I'm passive-aggressive," he admitted. "I seem really nice and sweet, but I'm the silent, controlling one in the group." Sounds just like me—except for the nice and sweet part. You want to cut off what?