Friday: Burlesqueer at The Black Cat
So this ended up disturbing the fuck out of me. Possibly because our previous Burlesqueer performance was such a life-affirming, mind-boggling experience, a regular, non-Rocky Horror Picture Show themed, sans-Sparkle Bois performance was doomed to mediocrity. The inconceivably adorable Dutch Oven MC’d again, and I would definitely pay to see her co-host Betty O’Hellno again (I just started watching the lastest season of Ru Paul’s Drag Race and she reminds me a lot, in a good way, of BenDeLaCreme) but nothing could really erase the horror of Pussy Noir dump a candle on herself. Adriana suggested it was maybe some sort of bad intersection of drag and burlesque that just didn’t work out so well, but I don’t think she had the same reaction that I did. I felt like I was in a k-hole. I usually like genderfuck-y performances, and my favorite performance of the night was actually a bearded man that gave me a vaguely vaudevillian / German musical villain vibe that stripped from lederhosen, but dear God. It felt exploitative. I felt like I was watching the victim of human trafficking. It was so uncomfortable.
But whatever, cheap beer, good company, a bar that feels like getting drunk in your friend’s basement, that also has a sexy 80s muscle hunk themed bowling game we never noticed before.
Saturday: Chris Hardwick at 9:30 Club
Ahhhh!!! This was so fun. Chris Hardwick just radiates positive vibes. Neither Adriana nor I had ever seen comedy at the 9:30 Club, so we weren’t sure what we were in for. First of all, I haven’t even been to the 9:30 Club since high school. I’ve never even been there since I’ve been of legal drinking age. The last thing I remember seeing there was a Anti-Flag/Alexisonfire (!!!) show in like, 2010. Holy fuck are the surroundings ever different. I wasn’t afraid of getting stabbed. Everything is new and loft-y, and steel beam-y, and manufactured to look industrial when it is clearly brand new, like Urban Outfitters designed a town. I LOVE it. I get ample use of marquee lights and weathered metals while being free from the threat of physical violence? I may have to slowly start forgiving 9:30 Club for the string of bitchy incidents that made me refuse to go there for 5+ years to begin with.
Anyway, Hardwick was great. He seemed to use his set as an opportunity for catharsis, he talked a lot about his father, who recently passed away, and stories about his Dad’s perspective and how he was coping in the time passed gave a little structure to his stand up, it was nice to feel a part of his memorial, like he shared that with us. Also dude is like a regular-sized man in person, probably on the taller side, and pretty fit looking. I was just shocked because I thought television universally made people looking taller, and here the Nerd King, who always came across as looking fittingly teensy-tiny, is actually kind of a GQ muscle god. He was like busting out of his tiny vest/tiny button up/tiny trouser situation, Hulk-style. SHOCKING, but not unappreciated.
April Richardson was his opener, I used to watch her on Chelsea Lately all the time, I didn’t realize her and Chris Hardwick were besties, or that she is as social anxiety-stricken as she came across (or that her stand up persona skews awkward, however you want to see it.) She just always came off as a punk rock cool girl type to me. I like her bangs, which is like the number one deciding factor if someone is a cool girl or not. I’ve never seen April Richardson speak for long enough to get a sense of her comedy, I love/loved both but it’s not like Chelsea Lately or @Midnight is a great platform for stand up.
April told a joke about being old enough and secure enough to admit she likes beefcakes but also being completely horrified with accepting the concept of liking them. Marrying and divorcing a skinny indie type, and still looking the part of a perfect alternachick while ogling… I think someone like Burt Reynolds on a bearskin rug was her example. She definitely pushed beefcake to the limit. This was incredibly timely for me, and I will forever appreciate her raising the issue. Like maybe I like that you have abs and huge arms? What? What is this? Who am I? Where is Adam Brody.
Anyway, she was very funny and her act (set? performance?) had a very intimate, reading-your-diary-at-a-sleepover vibe to it. It was very confessional. She made a great counterpoint to Chris Hardwick, who has the hugest personality I have ever seen, crawling all over the front rows of the audience, making sure every individual was touched by his gift of socially acceptable and totally entertaining neuroses. At the end of the day they had the same subject matter, presented in entirely different ways (I can’t imagine April Richardson capping off her performance with Chris’s live rendition of Bon Jovi’s “Dead or Alive” as sung by Batman’s Bane) and that is why I love art. Art is fun. Let’s all be friends.
Monday: My Birthday
I DIDN’T CRY, SO THAT WAS AN UPGRADE FROM PREVIOUS YEARS. I’ve just resigned myself to the fact I’m not going to be comfortable with time passing until I do something with my life I feel is worthy of a milestone. I just wish that strategy had more of a motivating effect and less of a making me wanting to go into the fetal position at every holiday effect.
I actually had a nice birthday, I went to The Cheesecake Factory because that is my basic bitch fucking jam. My Mom put up princess decorations and got me a cake with a picture of me at 3, rocking crooked bangs, a tiara, a magic wand, and what was in hindsight was a very David Bowie glitter trimmed ruffle blouse. Some things don’t change.
Sunday: Father’s Day
Me and my sister had an A++ sing along sesh in the car driving to Virginia, which I think is what I will most remember this day for. Brought Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again” back into my life. My Dad’s kitten has grown into a Grumpy Cat sized forever-kitten with short, short little legs and a tiny tiny face the size of a tennis ball. IT IS THE CUTEST CAT I HAVE EVER SEEN. Made a piece of ribbon dance around for that baby huntress until my arm went numb. So cute. Also notable, my Dad told a story about the time he piloted a plane from Ottawa to Philly, in a hail storm, with a co-pilot he later found out was partially blind. Unless there is another crazy story I don’t know, he possesses no flight training. They really gave no fucks in the 1980s, apparently.