By Keegan Hamilton
By Albert Samaha
By Village Voice staff
By Tessa Stuart
By Albert Samaha
By Steve Weinstein
By Devon Maloney
By Tessa Stuart
Homeless people, empty storefronts, and angsty locals with mismatching shoes are back, but so are outlaw parties! Those wickedly irreverent bashes held at unsuspecting places—always a positive reaction to a down economy—have been resurrected by Cazwell, the sexy Polish-American musical artist/DJ, whose upcoming Watch My Mouth CD is described by his handlers as "a ridiculously fun mix of electrified dance music and old-school hip-hop."
That could pretty much sum up the sensibility behind Cazwell's kinda "now" but knowing party-promoting, too. A few months ago, he and trannie goddess Amanda Lepore did a successful outlaw party at a Burger King, where everyone got French fried. More recently, he, transsexual promoter Allanah Starr, and downtown diva Paisley Dalton threw one at the East Houston Street Dunkin' Donuts, where they filled in the holes. The hosts invited people to meet on a downtown corner, then sent them and a boom box to the world of brightly lit spiced apple and toasted coconut temptations for some concentrated good times.
Exhausted from watching the party on YouTube, I gave Cazwell a call.
Me: How did you get involved in this racket, oh ridiculously fun one?
Cazwell: The first time around, Amanda said, "Let's do an outlaw party." I thought, "I can do a cross-promotion with my song, 'I Seen Beyoncé at the Burger King.' " Michael Alig [the imprisoned club kid] definitely inspired it. But the parties of his that I saw on YouTube were calm, with everyone sitting around. These kids want to go crazy and dance and be hyper.
Me: Just FYI, the idea you hijacked from Alig was stolen by him from a promoter named Vito Bruno. But anyway, are these bodacious bashes against the law?
Cazwell: We're not doing anything illegal. I don't think I am—I hope not! It's just nice to see people outside of clubs. It's empowering because we're showing who we are.
Me: But what about the other customers? Should they say, "Thanks," or throw a Coolatta at you?
Cazwell: I try not to pay attention. I try to be accommodating to my guests. I get there early and make sure everyone has a doughnut.
Me: And the freaks all turn out to be punctual!
Cazwell: The challenge of getting somewhere on time makes it even more exciting. We always say, "Look, this party is only 20 minutes long, so if you're late, you miss it." I love it when you go to a party, hit the best part, and leave. With outlaw parties, it's all peak time.
Me: But why just 20 minutes? (I could understand maybe 15.)
Cazwell: The cops could come. Someone could complain. And I like those quick highs. Then we're off to the next party—the one I do with Allanah at Element. One thing that's saving nightlife right now is the trannies. It's not just a bunch of gay guys observing each other. You can't be uptight when these trannies are around.
Me: You can't even get a word in. Aside from outlaw provocateur, how would you describe yourself?
Cazwell: A musical and visual artist. I want to make a video of every song I drop. I don't consider myself a rapper or hip-hop artist. One of the rules of hip-hop is that you can't be a fag. I met [DJ/producer] Larry Tee and he said, "Create your own scene, and don't even think about that." I just want to party. [Dance music mogul] Mel Cheren said, "If we can dance together, we can live together."
Me: So true. Let's do a Texas Two-Step at Roy Rogers next month.
Bright Lights, Big Tittie
Here's even more proof that trannies have been spicing up the nightlife with outlaw behavior: Outside Citrine recently, I saw an arriving transsexual screaming, "He won't let me in! He won't let me in!" before the doorman had even rejected her. And he wasn't even going to! But the creature had obviously prepared her big dramatic scene for days, and she wasn't going to let something as simple as acceptance get in the way of performing it. Judges?
If you want even hotter chops, seek out the pros. My sources say that at the press junket for Julie & Julia, Amy Adams acted all earnest and schoolteachery, delivering what seemed like her idea of 1950s Photoplay interviews. But Meryl Streep was astounding, coming off spontaneous, personable, and very intimate, like she was doing it all just for you. Clearly, the woman approaches PR as another acting exercise, one in which she has to deliver a grand performance in the role of Meryl Streep. If only there were Oscars for press junkets, she'd finally beat the record.
But enough about her. I won an award last week! It was an honorary Golden Lemon—I mean, Golden Pineapple—given by NY Artists Unlimited's Cringefest for my support of the farts—I mean, the arts. And I was in pretty good company. Mink Stole was there—pineapple in hand—telling me she'd gone to see Brüno at a Baltimore mall, where the cashier warned, "The film is a little vulgar." That's hilarious, considering that Mink is the John Waters star who, in Pink Flamingos, picked up hitchhikers, held them hostage, got them knocked up, and sold the babies.