Not that I really have much by way of point of reference, but the Gurlesque Burlesque show at the Abbey on Saturday night was amazing. Aside from being sweaty, drunken, hilarious, rowdy, political, inclusive, and sexy as hell (um, and did I mention sweaty?), it served as a potent reminder that we so often overlook imagination as a key component of sexuality and eroticism. The unbelievable creativity on display in the performers' choice of music, motif, and message turned the night into this anything-goes party where everybody was desirable, everybody was a star. The room felt united in this friendly, communal, participatory celebration of the place where the delights of the body and mind intersect, rather than being a slimy, leering, onanistic spectacle to be consumed solely for pornographic titillation. This allowed for a two-way street of maturity and respect between the performers and the audience, which, oddly enough, generated a vibe that felt almost innocent. (Which was enhanced, of course, by the reverence with which many of the performers held all things World War II– and Cold War–era.) We cheered as they shed their clothes, not solely because we were turned on (though these fine specimens were most definitely hawt, in their splendid array of sizes, shapes, colors, ages, experience levels, and attitudes), but also because we were so thankful—thankful for their sharing their talents with us, thankful to be hanging out together for the night, thankful that this wonderful art form has been revived with such a genuine passion for the lessons it can teach us about gender and sexuality in an engaging and non-militant way. And, aside from only a handful of cheap jokes, which seemed to be all in good fun, there wasn't an overabundance of hatin' on the straights in the crowd, which is always nice. Highlights for me included the amazing song stylings of Nomy Lamm, a performance by the Hellcat Hussies that I'll bet damali ayo would have approved of, the smokin' hot Michelle L'Amour and her award-winning Snow White dance, the thrillingly bizarro Lady Ace, and the inspiring grande dame and headliner Satan's Angel.
I've been loving the New Pornographers' new album Twin Cinema. I can't fully support this theory yet, but I think it might make an excellent companion piece to Spoon's Gimme Fiction in the way they both use, uh, cinema, as jumping-off points for these rangy, jangly sonic treasure maps of texture and emotion. Neko Case nearly brings me to tears on "These Are the Fables."
A big welcome back to LBLA and CTLA and a shout-out to the cutest baby in the world, whom I finally got to meet this weekend.