Pound Sign

New York City, pop culture, art and nightlife. Because nobody else is blogging about those things.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Is CBGB's less likely to open in Vegas now, or more?

I know that last post really reads like the pre-weekend send-off, but I meant to post this earlier in the week when we lost another New York icon, Hilly Kristal; of the obituaries and musings I've read, I think this immediate response on Idolator is the best. Ok, enjoy weekend, and so on.

If only there was some clever saying about how much more a picture is worth than a quantifiable number of words

Terrific stage photographer Dale Harris has some great shots here on flickr from the Starshine show in my previous post, that really capture the awesomeness. And in fact, he's also posted some fun shots from the second half of our show Smells Like Tease Spirit, here!

And, after this weekend spent waist-deep in pasties, I'll be posting plenty of pictures from the New York Burlesque Festival on Monday! To all, a happy three-day weekend.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Devil's Own Mistress comes to town

I wanted to write about this last night but after an after-work group outing to the Bohemian Hall Beer Garden in Astoria, I was in a beer-and-keilbasa induced coma by the time I got home. But anyway; Thursday night we went down to see Starshine Burlesque, because legendary performer Satan's Angel was in town, and headlining the show that night! We're friends with Angel from Vegas, and it was fabulous to catch up with her; she was in town to shoot an episode of the Maury Povich show (seriously.), a segment about being a sexegenarian stripper, and regaled us in raunchy, hilarious fashion with the behind-the-scenes story. And of course, seeing her perform was fantastic. I've seen her on stage at Exotic World, but never as close as the second row of Rififi's little back room-it was intense! Seeing this woman in her 60's, working the crowd, shaking and shimmying, swirling the huge cape and the 8 foot boa, and finishing off by twirling flaming tassels, she absolutely brought the house down. You can see the joy in performing, and she thrives on the energy of the audience; she simply inspired everyone who was there. After the show she happily held court sitting on the edge of the stage, swearing like a sailor, laughing and sharing stories of working the burlesque circuit at the end of its heyday in the 60's and early 70's, surrounded by adoring fans, friends and awestruck young performers who had come out to see her for the first time. It was a pretty fantastic night; any contemporary burlesque performer in NYC who didn't make it out to any of her performances while she was in town should be kicking themselves, because this is what it's all about!

Angel's classic headshot at the top of this post is available on her website, she'll even sign it for ya!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What's My Line in the Post!

While we were away this weekend, very pleased to have What's My Line? featured in the Sunday New York Post! Very happy about that, although I expect a retraction any day for getting my stage name wrong.

Meanwhile, Clams Casino has been nominated once again for a Golden Pastie Award at this year's New York Burlesque Festival, in the category "Biggest Sweetheart in Burlesque"! (I couldn't agree more.)

So, everybody should go to the Burlesque Fest website and click on the "Golden Pasties" page at the top to vote! If you don't already have your own opinion about nominees in these other ridiculous categories, well, they're just about all good friends of ours and just about all deserving, but if you've seen their name pop up in this blog, it's a good bet that's who I'd suggest!

Return to the cold and rainy city

So I'm in my office, looking out at the pouring rain, first day back from a relaxing, sun-drenched, Internet-free long weekend in the mountains of Virginia with friends. It's rough to leave a vacation, but I always love getting back to the city, even when it's this dreary. Back to work!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The crumbling pillars

With the deaths yesterday and today of Brooke Astor and Phil Rizzuto, it really feels that right now, the last of that generation that gave this City so much of its unique cultural character over the course of the 20th Century are disappearing, just as the City has entered a new Century, struggling to maintain that unique character in the face of rampant, bulldozing development. There's your deep thought for the day.

Oh, and thanks to Precious Little for reminding me that Mr. Rizzuto was the first ever celebrity mystery guest on the original What's My Line!

Friday, August 10, 2007

The birth of a fuzzy Internet superstar.

So our friend A.V. Phibes (also a kick-ass illustrator and occasional fire-eater) bought a kitten about a month ago. She started a blog to document its sheer, irrational cuteness, which all of her friends agreed on. Then, Cute Overload ran a picture of it that she submitted. And then Gawker picked it up and turned it into an online poll. In one day OMGKitty's traffic went through the roof and stayed there. Only took a month. And it's as simple as that. Have a lovely weekend, my thousands of readers!

Summer brings out the obsessive-compulsive in our illustrator friends

Clams has shown up on another poster, for another show this summer that I'm very excited to see. Courtesy of the hand of Jonny Porkpie. (Click for the larger view)

Next month: frogs fall from the sky! Bring it!

Wednesday began with the two-hour monsoon that knocked out every subway line in Manhattan (our streak continues: last month's show was the same day as the steampipe explosion in midtown); meanwhile I was home in bed with some horrible flu-like bug. Then at 3:45 in the afternoon I got a call from the owner of the Parkside Lounge, to let me know that their ancient AC compressor had died, as the temperature neared 100 degrees, turning the venue into a furnace. So, with 4 hours to go before showtime, Jen made some calls: by 4:15 we had the show moved to the Slipper Room, a 10 minute walk from the Parkside. So, after a rush of email and Myspace bulletins and putting signs on the Parkside door, we moved the whole operation! It turned out to be one of our most successful shows, with a big crowd packed with our friends there to celebrate the happy coincidence of What's My Line's one-year anniversary the day before our own four-year wedding anniversary. Knocking out a successful show under those circumstances kind of makes you feel like you can handle anything that gets thrown at ya. Of course, it helps to surround yourself with the kind of people that make big, last minute changes possible, and make it look easy.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Once again, rain threatens...

Yup, rain is in the forecast for tomorrow; that will be the fourth month in a row that What's My Line? Live in NYC! is on wet night! But as always, we will not be deterred, especially for our One-Year Anniversary show! For our special celebratory show, I've got some wonderful special guests coming; beloved New York artstars Corn Mo and Tigger! will be playing the game as contestants, while the panel attempts to guess their first-ever jobs! Our first guest panelist from last year's October show, the talented author Nelly Reifler, is back on the panel tomorrow too. It will be a fun night and assuming there's no monsoon, a whole lot of people are planning to be there to celebrate with us.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Rarely is the unmitigated, vile hubris of New York's rampaging developers shown with such crystal clarity

As it is here, on Curbed.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Thank God, at least the Slipper Room is safe!

Just got back to my office from a morning spent in the field, and an email from Jen is awaiting me with this link, sans context. Thanks a lot!

You can find out the whole story on Gothamist.