Freak Show


Crobar is open. Can we talk about something else now? Seriously, though, people have been hoping that the megaclub is going to save New York nightlife. The club is nice looking and has a killer sound system, but it ain’t the Second Coming of clubbing.

There are a few snafus they still have to work out—like the guest list. Michael Musto—who is so recognizable that my non-media-savvy family in New Jersey knows who he is—was sent to the back of the line by some dork on Thursday night’s press private opening (to which I didn’t even get invited. Thanks, guys!). And even Larry Tee, who was throwing the Friday-night, post-electroclash bash Outsider Electronic Music Festival, was denied entry on Thursday.

Working the door for Larry’s party was a bevy of clubland’s most fabulous, including a redheaded Kenny Kenny, who said, “You called me a freak!” I gave him a hug and said I meant it in the best possible way. Inside, old friends Mario Diaz, Jackie Beat, and Adrian Sosa performed as Dirty Sanchez, along with My Robot Friend and Black Moustache, but it was Avenue D that stole the show, wearing outfits concocted of spray-painted macaroni and singing slutty odes to Santa Claus and Jesus. Their show ended abruptly when the sound guy pulled the plug because they were over the set time. The crowd booed.

Upstairs in the dressing room, Sophia Lamar fake-quivered when she found two empty bottles of vodka, and Fancy from Fannypack revealed that when he had hair it was long and curly and crimson. (Me: “So you looked like the guy in Simply Red!”)

Mr. Sosa, who is in a band named after a dirty sexual act involving, um, poo, asked, “Why are there so many freaks out there?”—meaning men in suits. “Is this a corporate club?”

While Thursday at Crobar was a nonevent for some of us, Thursday’s D Troit art exhibition at Gigantic ArtSpace was D Licious. Along with artwork by Detroiters Tyree Guyton, Doug Coombe, and Mark Dancey, there was a film about Detroit’s hairstyle wars, Hot Irons by Nigerian Andrew Dosunmu, and a musical history of the city’s past 50 years compiled by journalist Mike Rubin.

I’m sure even curator Trevor Schoonmaker was a bit surprised to find out how popular Detroit is, as there was a sizable line outside; inside, New York notables David Byrne and Lee Renaldo took in the multimedia event. Renaldo’s two kids had a particularly good time bopping along to some minimal Detroit techno from Rubin’s “313 Jukebox,” which featured nearly 20 hours of music ranging from the White Stripes to John Lee Hooker to Derrick May. Rubin joked that it took him only 25 years to compile, thanks to his obsessive record-buying habits, and said that even for a record junkie like himself, he made a few surprising discoveries: “The Power of Zeus‘s ‘It Couldn’t Be Me’ was pretty great,” he says. “It’s totally a proto-grunge song. If you hear it, you’d think for sure it was recorded in Seattle in 1990, instead of Detroit in 1970.” Afterward, the truly hardcore headed to M-15 and illegally danced to a laptop set by Brendan Gillen of Ectomorph.

Now I know that people like to make fun of Moby: He’s a vegan, he’s ultra-nerdy, and he’s religious (so uncool). But say what you will about the self-proclaimed Little Idiot, he’s one of the only pop stars taking a stand against the Bush administration and the war in Iraq. In addition to co-judging an anti-Bush 30-second commercial contest (which concludes January 12 with a big bash at the Hammerstein Ballroom), at the Grammy Award nominations event, he took several swipes at Bush. Announcing Babs Streisand‘s nomination he said, “The current president is corrupt and inept and needs to be thrown out of office in 2004.” And on December 7, he co-hosted a screening of the documentary Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War at Boykin Curry‘s luxury pad in Trump Parc.

The same night, there were more than 2,600 simultaneous private screenings across the country (organized by the Voter Fund), in places like Montrose, Colorado, and Yankton, South Dakota, where celebrities like Janeane Garofalo would not be in attendance, but where average joes watched a dizzying array of government officials, CIA analysts, and military veterans—many of whom have 20 or 30 years of experience—repeatedly castrate Bush’s pre-war WMD arguments. Said Moby, “I feel so passionately about the Bush administration because they are deceitful and mercenary and every single aspect of their agenda is unethical and anachronistic. It makes me wish that dweebs like Rush Limbaugh and Karl Rove had gotten laid in college so that they wouldn’t have to vent their sexual frustrations on the rest of us.” Wait, Rush and Karl have sex today?! Eeew!

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