SubdermalSt. Rev Jen and JJ

by Melpomene Whitehead; photos by Pru Phur

I do love New York. I really really do. Annoying people keep asking me if I’d consider moving, for like say a job or safety or a cure for pancakes or bigger supermarkets, and the answer is NO! Where else could I go out on a Friday night and see several experimental noise bands FOR FREE? I ask you, where? Maybe London, but they speak another language there. San Francisco? But it’s even more expensive, and I hate stairs, and I’d lose my boyfriend on Castro Street. Plus, the humidity would make my hair very very nappy. So, I’m stuck here, sadly, seeing stellar free entertainment and drinking cheap Pabst Blue Ribbon at the eclectically My Name is Rar Rarexcellent Hank’s Saloon. Oy, they are the BEST at Hank’s. They do buy-backs for strangers, have a decent selection of beer on tap, and cheap PBRs. And music music music! Two of my favorite acts performed there late September, Radio Shack and My Name is Rar Rar. Radio Shack is a performance consortium that puts on random events. That evening featured a robot-to-robot battle! The robot won, but I don’t know which one. My Name is Rar Rar–I’d seen them last year at CBs Gallery basement and they put on an amazingly energetic and bizarre show. There was a midi bass, a pregnant cheerleader, a laughing drummer. This time around they had a new singer, and the guitarist seemed the giddiest of the group. Me, I liked the way the old singer, Christina Ha, looked and sang, so I kind of missed her. But they still have that highly distinctive electro-punk sound–sort of a mix between Queen and the Ramones. It’s the midi bass, kids–no synths here! This place was as full of dudes as a Castro Street bar, and I think I may have seen some of them eyeing my man. Or maybe it was me. Radio Shack will also be playing a CMJ showcase on November 2–see the calendar listing below for more info.

Shortly thereafter–well, days, really–I got to hang out with the hippest lil dog on the LES, Reverend Jen Jr, aka JJ. JJ had a medical problem earlier this year, and her mom, St Reverend Jen (the patron saint of the uncool) threw a posh benefit at SPACE. We lucky attendees were treated to the poetry of professional wrestler Megalomaniac, and we even all got to eat a piece of his Dwellerdelicious birthday cake. There was also free beer! Woohoo! The brew was thoughtfully provided by Rheingoldwho says the Rheinold Brewing Company doesn’t care about dogs? Music was provided by sexy rock gods Dweller and sexy folk-dude Brer Brian. It was a fabulously fun party, full of dudes, some of which I’m sure were eyeing my boyfriend. Or was it his beer? Or was it JJ’s glittering bikini? Maybe it was me.

I did some performing of my own this month–if you can call it that. I did a dramatic (oh, it was high drama) reading of Bukowski’s "Ass But No Class" at Big Mike’s Big Show–topless, in a thong, pearl necklace, and blue sunglasses, drinking a vitamin-enhanced malt beverage. You never know what you’re going to see at a Big Mike show. Well, you know you’re going to see Big Mike, but other than that, it’s full of yummy surprises. This Big Show featured Janet Rosen, reading a pathetic story that reminded us (or informed us, depending on your age) of the horror of being 24 years old. Sushi Fairy did some crazy thing. I can’t really describe what she does in understandable terms. I always feel like I’m on an acid trip while I watch her. I like acid tho, and her performances don’t last 12 hours and make you feel sick the next day. So she’s perfect! I feel a strange mix of intense jealousy and happiness when I see her–happiness because she’s a genuinely talented and intelligent woman doing highly unusual performances, and jealousy because of the same thing. And she’s remarkably beautiful. I’d like to hate her but I can’t. And I feel the same way about Margaret Trigg! She was amazing as the bikini-clad coke-addicted neurotic having a dialog with an imaginary psychiatrist. So I guess that makes it a monolog. Trigg bounded and cavorted all across the stage in her adorable ensemble and white go-go boots, doing the occasional split and asking her shrink, "Do you think I’m over-dressed?" Beauty and intelligence and talent are extremely difficult for me to deal with. I hate you, I love you… or was it the taurine in the Sparks malt beverage making me feel so funny? And I almost forgot the delectable Via Satellite, reading "Howl," dressed in a sweater set and pleated skirt and saddle shoes. She looked as luscious as a perfect vanilla cupcake with pink frosting and silver sprinkles, pretending to be an innocent 1950s ingenue, breathlessly reading Alan Ginsberg’s most famous poem. Via doesn’t make me feel so jealous, even though she is beautiful and intelligent. Must be pheromones. Big Mike will be doing another Big Show November 7, 8 pm at Collective, 172 Ludlow Street ( The dude-filled audience was eyeing Margaret Trigg and Sushi Fairy, along with Via Satellite and my boyfriend. Or were they trying to figure out what the hell I was drinking?

Another place you could have seen me, clothed and with better makeup, was at the Fuckable Show at Surf in October. But besides Katseeing me, you would have seen many truly scrumptious and sexy performers. The ladies in attendance particularly adored the frantic gyrations of the lanky musician Andrew Katz, the tender story of Victor Vornado’s breakup (over his appearance in Pluto Nash)… heck, the women even had nice things to say about Touching You. It can’t be denied that Mr. You is genuinely talented, but many peeps feel he’s only truly fuckable with a gag in his mouth. But no, he managed to win over even his detractors with some excellent rarely-played songs, like the raucous "Lesbian Slayer" and the catchy pop ditty, "My Cum Tastes Better Than Motley Crew’s." He was accompanied by the manically adorable Poisson d’Avril, who banged on a chair. Faceboy treated us to his upcoming column in Art Star Scene (ASS) Magazine, called "Q and Anus." Marsha Brown teased the audience with some salaciously lovely poems. Claudia Gross and Kat’s performances were revelatory. Claudia’s monolog as Betty Blowjob, a highly sexed woman who can’t remember the names of people she loved, was just tremendously emotive while staying consistantly funny throughout. Kat told a story about her love of latex and balloons. Kat is so innocently sexy it almost feels like a crime to be watching her.

We were sort of frightened when (why the hell am I writing in this royal we? Let’s just stop that now)--I was sort of frightened when I heard that we were going to see Girlbomb do a show at Stand Up NY. Was she just going to do tourist banter and fat chick jokes all night? Unfortunately, most of the other comedians on the bill had that covered. Why did the chicken cross the road? To see the fat chick and the fairy beat the shit outta the hacky comedian. Luckily, the earlier horrors made La Girlbombe stand out even more that usual. Her set was stellar, and after the show boys and girls were vying for her attention. She’ll be performing again at Stand Up NY in November (see dates below), so if you want to see 10 minutes of excellent material, surrounded by material that serves to remind you why you only watch South Park and The Daily Show on Comedy Central, come on down!

Speaking of being reminded of things you hate, I took a short tour of the Dumbo Arts festival this year. Suddenly I remembered why I never got my PhD in Art History. The DAF was chock full of the pretentious bullshit you find at second-rate art colleges, with a few highlights. One was the flimsy pedal car. The other was when the DUMBO resident yelled to a street performer down below, "Shut up and go back to art school!" I think Hornbuckle could have gotten quite a few accolades had be just walked around DUMBO with his guitar, singing his popular song "Arthole" over and over again. The other highlights included running into the delicious Sushi Fairy in a sound-installation elevator, and man-about-town Touching You holding court on a street corner. For some reason he found everything I said that night to be inspirational, writing things down and saying, "I gotta make a song out of that. It’ll be a 13 minute rock epic."

My local trivia connection, Noah Tarnow, has put together his own amazingly difficult and fun trivia night, The Big Quiz Thing,Carmen Mofungo which will hopefully be happening every month at the Slipper Room. Unlike other trivia nights, where there is no cover, but small prizes, The Big Quiz Thing has a low cover of $5 and a $300 grand prize! It’s co-hosted by trivia mistress Diva Nina, and, there are delicious home-made cookies (from Krissy Bunny Bakery of the Upper East Side) for second place, best team name, being a smart-ass… I’m admitting it was a difficult quiz, so you can extrapolate that my team did not come in first. But the second place cookies of victory tasted quite sweet, especially since we beat out the other team of people from Surf Reality (just barely). The premiere night also featured performances by Girlbomb, Hornbuckle, and Carmen Mofungo, who got quite a round of applause with her comment that Spanish girls get to weight 5 pounds more than white girls. Of course, I was applauding the loudest. Pass those cookies, please?

More of Melpomene can be found at . email her at


Nov. 2, Sat, 8PM @ North 6 basement (CMJ showcase): Radio Shack; Carlos Giffoni; Weasel Walter (66 north 6th in williamsburg)

Nov 2, Sat, 10 PM @ Surf Reality: CROSSING OVER WITH CARMEN

SEE Carmen try to channel the spirt of her departed Dad, EL DIABLO. HEAR the spookified parody songs originally written by old, dead white people from the 20th Century. TASTE the skull & crossbones complimentary elixer provided to all guests. Beware. Take Care. Be There. With Art Star guests: Surreal Kung-Fu Comic Master Lee, Coney Island Firebrand Tyler Fyre, Psilocybic Chef & Master of Impressions, Lloyd Floyd, Vim Variety Host Faith Pilger and music by Touching You; plus a special appearance by Jew-Cifer. Reservations: 212.673-4182 $10

Nov 5, Tues: Surf Reality's anniversary party! Performance and other deviance. 172 Allen Street.

Nov 5, Tues: Tractenburg Family Slideshow Players on Late Night with Conan O'Brien

Nov 7, Thurs, 8 pm @ Collective: Unconscious: Big Mike Big Show. Ludlow Street, $5

Nov 8, Fri, 9 pm @ Sidewalk Café: Sprinkle Genies

Nov 8, Fri, 8 pm @ Arlene Grocery: "MONDO PORNO" hosted by Editrix Abby with a screening of The Complete Deep Throat, Eric Danville's Annotated Version of the porno classic! Music by Slunt and The Sex Slaves, and a late-nite Half-naked Twister! In the lounge: DJ Rustyn L. Birch, DJ Shakey Appearances by Vanessa del Rio and Candida Royalle more info at

Nov 9, Sat, 8 pm North 6 basement, Touchdown, The Double, Breaker! Breaker!, Cold Electric Fire. (66 north 6th in williamsburg) $5

Nov 9, Sat, 9 pm @ Sidewalk: Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players. Free, 2 drink min.

Nov 9, Sat 10 pm, @ Surf :A Beautiful Scene, with: novelist, poet, and emotional idiot Maggie Estep actress Anne Carr, who doesn't care if she drools, the riffs and raffs of comedian Joey Gay And bien sur the wonderous Hornbuckle on various stringed instruments. See this show before it's gone! Or, plan to miss it and then act sad later. $8

Nov 11, Mon, 9 pm @ Bar —B: Acoustic Sprinkle Genies w/ 7pm Nick Medium, 8 pm sousalves, 10pm Cicero Buck. (188 Allen St. btw Houston and Stanton)

Nov 14 and 21, Thurs, 8 pm @ Ars Nova, Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players. 511 W. 54th ( 10th & 11th ) NYC

Nov 18, Mon, 9:30 pm @ the UCB Theatre Liam McEneaney in "INSTANT KARMA!" W. 22nd St. @ 7th Ave. $5

Nov 19, Tuesday, 9 pm @ Stand Up NY!, Girlbomb. $10 plus two overpriced drinks

Nov 23, Fri 9 pm @ Sidewalk, Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players. Free, 2 drink minimum

Nov 25, Sun 8pm @ North 6 basement: Tim Barnes; Dave Sewelson- Bari Sax, Jesse Dulman- Tuba, Mike Pride- Drums; Dave McClelland/Adam Caine Electric Guitar Twin; Greg Kelley; Mike Bullock (66 north 6th in williamsburg) $Free or $1 donation maybe

Nov 29, Fri, 10 pm @ Surf: Rock Ecstasy with Shauna Lane. $8

Nov 29, Fri, 11 pm @ Arlene: The Lonely Samoans. $5

Dec 4, Tues, 7:30 pm @ Sidewalk: Hornbuckle. Free, 2 drink minimum

Every Tuesday in December Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players "On Ice" the award winning Holiday show at Fez under Time Cafe.

Dec 5, 6, 7, Thursday — Saturday, 8 pm @ Space: "Under The Highway," the new gypsy musical (Space Theater, 602 East 14th street, second floor.) $8 (includes free box wine and sweet Hungarian crepes!)

Dec 7, Sat, 10 pm @ Surf Reality: CARMEN MOFONGO’S COQUITO CHRISTMAS CAROL: Carmen’s Mofongo-ized take on the traditional Christmas classic. With The Ghost of Christmas Past: Raven Solano; The Ghost of Christmas Present: Curtis Scagnetti; The Ghost of Christmas Future: Ben Brody; and a special appearance by Santé Claus. Plus all guests receive generous, FREE, powerful, luscious, samples of Carmen‘s homemade Coquito, the traditional Puerto Rican holiday libation. Tix: $10

Dec 9 Mon, 8 pm @ Slipper Room: The Big Quiz Thing trivia. $5, $300 grand prize

Dec 16, Mon, 8 pm @ Arlene: Lesion x-mass party, featuring the premiere of a new Lesion film!

Dec 27 Fri, 10 pm @ Surf: Rock Ecstacy with Shauna Lane $8