Pound Sign

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

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Coming back to make Vegas everything Vegas is supposed to be

In just a few days we'll be making our annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend! The event is always amazing and this year promises no less, New York is going to represent! Not only are amazing NYC performers gracing the stage every night of the weekend (including Clams on Thursday for the opening night extravaganza), but we've been practicing for the first annual Barecats Bowling Invitational (which reminds me, has anyone been to the Port Authority bowling alley lately? They've made it all swank and shit! It's kind of a drag.) and the fourth annual Texas Tease 'Em Tournament!

Here's a little proof that it's going to be awesome, shot by Luke Littel live on Tropicana:


Friday, May 29, 2009

Found: one flute player

The gentleman you see to the left could be found, almost without fail, playing his flute on the Bleecker Street F Platform, any time of night for years. That's a platform we spend a lot of time on, often in a hurry and usually carrying bags of show stuff and props. His mellow, mellow music was always a soothing presence when we invariably needed some calming down. And then, several months back, he disappeared. I was genuinely bummed out, and always hoped we'd see him again the next time we came down the stairs, but no dice. Then this afternoon I saw him playing out in the sunshine at the subway entrance on the corner of Houston and 2nd. I was having a stressful day and it genuinely made me feel better!


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

We're calling that an official endorsement, baby!

This afternoon, Clams Casino was told personally by one Mr. Elvis Costello that he was honored to be the subject of The Costello Show: A Burlesque Tribute to the Other Elvis. I don't think it gets any better than that.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

But Best Buy does have really nice turntables

Today we had to buy a new stereo, as our old three-disk changer finally died. So, the new one has an iPod dock, which is really nice, and it marks the next step in the inexorable journey toward never pulling any of our hundreds of CDs off the shelf to play anymore, only perhaps to upload that one song we haven't transferred over yet...but I also realized something else that actually makes me sad. It definitively marks the end of my ever owning any audio equipment that plays cassettes. It's not the obsolescence of the technology that bothers me; I think we can all agree that tapes were for shit, soundwise. But even though I hadn't actually made a literal mixtape in almost a decade (a true lost art), and the music I actually still care about has all made the transition with me through two newer forms of audio technology, it's just...the end of that. Every tape I own is now officially a relic, just to be looked it, not listened to.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

All signs point to no.

So, our Duane Reade just got the sleek new DR makeover. Does the changeover from grungy red and blue to clean gray and lucite mean the traditional dismal service is going to improve also?

Say it...sexy

So, did Quizno's bow to some kind of pressure and completely get rid of the most homoerotic sandwich ad in history? For a while they had an alternate version for earlier in the day, but now the really, really gay funny version seems to have disappeared completely. Conspiracy!


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Indoor fireworks

So, what's next? Why funny you should ask. We're back to Joe's Pub for the next Casino O'Fortune Cookie Production. Look at that card up there (shot by the fabulous Ted D'Ottavio). Don't you want to see that show? Look, here are the details.

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Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

So, there's a lot of territory between this blog entry wrap-up of the inaugural Monsters of Burlesque tour and the actual tour itself, and that's because as soon as we got off the road and back home I hit the ground running at my then-two-weeks old new day job--two days after we got back was the gala benefit--and I'm still catching up. The summary: the tour was a tremendous success, and as a now-experienced (ahem) road producer, the best way to guarantee a tremendous success is to bring along a group of performers that are not only brilliantly talented but extremely flexible (in all senses of the word, considering the amount of crap we had packed in one Honda Odyssey) who love hanging out together and have a great amount of respect for what they do and each other. Yeah, that goes a long way. There they all are in front of our first venue, Gilly's in Dayton. Yes, that's the same building as the Greyhound station, but when you get inside it's the premier blues and jazz club in the Midwest. Anyway, right to left that's Jonny Porkpie, Clams, Nasty Canasta, Creamy Stevens and Ron aka DJ Fresh Prince of Darkness, who we could not have done the trip without--another important tip, bring a talented DJ and sound guy along for the ride. He ran sound 3 out of 4 shows and the only one where we had sound and cue issues was the one without him behind the board.

There is too, too much to dump in one blog post about the experience of this tour: four cities, four shows in four days, staying with family at every stop, playing for packed crowds, every number went over huge...at some point it becomes a jumble of anecdotes, the borderline surreal experiences of bringing what we do to the state of our birth. My brother calling me after our Dayton show to tell me that the slideshow of our show is the most emailed slideshow of the year at the Dayton Daily News. Jonny breaking three of his props onstage in the course of one show in Columbus. Doing the show in the basement club at Oberlin College, my home town, for a huge pack of students seemingly a quarter of our age...and the College President...and my sister who flew from Chicago to surprise me...and a half dozen of my high school friends...and the minister that married us and his wife...and my mother. Arriving at the Sachsenheim Hall, the drafty former Guild Hall that was our Cleveland venue, to discover a Dominican 6-year old's birthday party going on in the party room across the hall from the bar where we were doing the show, the local go-go troupe the Pussyfoot Girls mustering up one of their friends at the last minute to run our door for us...and then packing the place to the rafters for the last show of the trip. On the way home, getting the inevitable speeding ticket from the improbably named Officer Butcher, shocking our East Coast native passengers with the most polite traffic stop in history. And at the end of it all, hours in the car and show after show, not a single argument. You can check out some pictures on flickr here too.

And I can't wait to do it again.