“Wait a minute: Madonna came? Bowie came? all manner of folks came. The big musical debut at SqueezeBox!, circa 1997, had been a smash hit. Crowds went ape for the music and were going ape for it. And why wouldn’t they? It had a glam drag-queen transsexual, and a story that touched every generation from the Boomers on. By putting a band on stage with Greek myths, offering a new angle to the Berlin Wall, and floating the whole boy-becomes-girl meets boy-loses-boy who then becomes a redeemed rock god taking the entire audience on a glittering catharsis, Hedwig raised the bar. Who needed Vagina Monologues when Mitchell & Company tore the roof off with his Angry Inch? Over a decade later I entered the Jane Street Theatre from the front. [Read more…]
May 5th, Alig’s liberation day. Lately I’ve seen more rah-rah stomach-turning web posts for Michael Alig to start some lame-assed revival party than I care to count. Please, for the love of all things not yet devoured by the corporate culture world, just say: NO.
The Alig murder story is akin to 9/11 for NYC culturists – we all had a connection, we all remember hearing the news, we all saw the various iterations to come like Disco Bloodbath. In the past few weeks Michael Musto sums up more than a few and also has some cautious comments on associated trends. Me? I was sitting at the computer in 1996, working on the Squeezebox! invites when an email popped up that Freeze had been arrested and Angel was confirmed missing – which triggered a memory from months earlier which struck me strange. [Read more…]
In defense of Jayne County and RuPaul, a Punk perspective. • 20 years ago this month a group of us started Squeezebox! which arguably became the latest incarnation of the Max’s Kansas City scene — and arguably one of the last interesting, autochthonous scenes New York City will see for a very long time. The roots actually go back even farther, to the era of the old Tenderloin or the 19th century Bowery. In a communal, collective effort with many voices and artistic angles, we successfully merged the essence of these eras, their performance genres and the existing culture for ten years — when many in the so-called ‘community’ sneered, dismissed and patronized.