Pucker Up


W.I.T.’s Melissa Burns‘s puckered-up pout is seemingly everywhere, but apparently it’s been a few more places than even we knew about. We got an e-mail, with the subject line “With Infinitesimal Talent,” divulging dirty secrets. Before she was an electroclash diva, Ms. Burns supposedly did some time as a dungeon mistress at the Nutcracker Suite, where she went by the name of Zena. “She wasn’t much of a mistress, more of the ‘don’t-you-wish-you-could-fuck-me-but-you-can’t-so-I’ll-giggle-and-spank-you’ variety,” says the blabbermouth.

Larry Tee, who manages and produces W.I.T. (which stands for Whatever It Takes, natch), denied that she was ever a dungeon mistress.

“Sorry,” says Mr. Tee, “though Melissa thinks that sounds fabulous, it never happened.”

Ms. Burns is apparently not embarrassed enough to admit that she’s appeared in videos for the likes of Elton John, Bryan Adams, Whitney Houston, Monster Magnet, and Enrique Iglesias.

But the source still stands by the story: “I thought their whole stance for being famous is ‘whatever it takes.’ ”

Last week’s Battle of the Bands was quite a rumble, but not between the bands representing Spin and Blender mags. Our own Robert Christgau‘s behavior earned him the title of Cranky Critic in Page Six. Christgau, who has a notoriously surly disposition, was the harshest of the three judges, and his comments about Spinotaur lead singer Regan Solmo‘s lack of charisma earned him a round of boos from the audience, and sent an upset Solmo running backstage. Three of Solmo’s compatriots privately told the Dean to “fuck off.” Christgau’s response to them: “I’ve been doing this for 35 years. Fuck you.”

The contest was originally slated to feature Rolling Stone, but the mag’s Rack of Lamb dropped out two weeks before the event. RS honcho Jann Wenner told the New York Post that the eds would be too busy, but an RS insider who was at the office the night of the event said, “They weren’t busy. Nobody was there.” Maybe they were just afraid of Christgau’s wrath?

Moby, everyone’s favorite vegan, is promoting an anti-turkey campaign just in time for Thanksgiving. The Little Idiot recorded a spot for PETA urging the public to call Butterball to protest the killing of turkeys. In light of his PETA protest, Fly Life asked Moby if he had any tofurkey recipes to pass along from his Lower East Side café Teany, which he runs with partner Kelly Tisdale.

Teany’s Vegan Stuffed Squash (serves 6):

3 acorn squash, halved and seeded

3/4 cup pecans, finely chopped

2 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

1 cup fennel, finely chopped

1 long stick of celery, chopped

1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins

(or both!)

1 Granny Smith apple, chopped

1 cup vegetable broth

1/4 cup uncooked quinoa

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Brush the cut sides of the squash with 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Place on greased pan and bake in oven at 400 degrees for 35 minutes or until tender but not completely soft. In a nonstick skillet, toast pecans on medium heat for about three minutes. Put the pecans to the side. Put the oil in the skillet, and over medium to high heat, sauté the onions, celery, and fennel for three to five minutes. Add the apples, cranberries or raisins, quinoa, vegetable broth, salt, cumin, and cinnamon, and cook until boiling. Lower to a simmer, and let the mixture cook for another 10 minutes. Stir in pecans. Take the halved squash and fill them with the stuffing, then drizzle them with the rest of the maple syrup. Bake in the oven for another 15 minutes at 375 degrees, and serve.

Teany’s Herbal Pomegranate Tea (makes 6 cups):

2 large pomegranates, rinsed

and quartered

8 cups water

a few sprigs of rosemary, peppermint,

or spearmint

a few tablespoons maple syrup (optional)

In a saucepan, bring pomegranate quarters and water to a boil. Reduce heat and add rosemary or mint. Simmer for about 10 minutes, and stir in maple syrup if desired. Drain tea, and garnish with mint leaves, lemon wedge, or orange wedge.