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From Ballerinas To Washboards

Warhol, Gigi, and a crown of thorns

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Charlotte doesn't have a whole lot of Warholian events, so when one comes along, you go, right? Um, of course you do. Friday and Saturday night, the Hart-Witzen Gallery hosted multimedia arts event featuring live go-go dancers, a smattering of art (some pretty good), naughty ballerinas, film, Scott Weaver DJing, and more. "Wait a minute," you're saying. "You can't leave "naughty ballerina' sitting up there on the page without explaining." And I suppose I can't, though I'd rather tell you about the art. OK, not really. So there were these two girls, see, all dressed up in ballerina outfits, one of the greatest fetishes man ever dreamed up. They have their hair pulled back into sensible buns, and look rather serious as some Serious Ballet Music plays. Out of nowhere, the music drops into a dirty groove, and the girls shake their hair out and start grinding like Martha Stewart with a gross of fresh peppercorns. They bring two inflatable punching-bag guys into the stage area, and start grinding them too. Some male audience members grind their teeth together. There you pretty much have it. And no, I won't tell you about the go-go dancers.Later that night, as they'd say on Batman, I headed to the Visulite Theatre to see local-gal-doing-pretty-good Gigi Dover and her band play a show with none other than cosmic country favorite Jim Lauderdale. Lots of people were talking during Lauderdale's set, and not a few of them about Lauderdale's getup. Dressed as a sort of latter-day Gram Parsons, Lauderdale's Nudie Suit-like garb was festooned not with Parsons' famous marijuana leaf motif, but with loads of yin/yang symbols. Was Lauderdale making a statement about the need for balance in life? That dark is nothing without light? That life is nothing without death, and vice versa? That he's converted to Buddhism? Or did he just think it looked cool? One may never know, but Lauderdale's set was still great, featuring many guest appearances, all of them Duane Jarvis. Gigi's popularity has never really waned in these parts, but it seems lots of other folks are now getting into her music. It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that she's attractive, could it? You're damn right it could. That said, Gigi's set was a good one, with a large 70s-style band featuring Jarvis, Eric Lovell, hubbie Bill Noonan and others backing up her Linda Ronstadt-like wail nicely. A perfect balance, you might say. Like day and night, love and hate, white and black. . .Overheard at the Lou Ford/Glory Fountain/Chip Robinson show early Saturday night: "Man, I drank a lot last night." "Yeah, me too." "I been doing that a lot lately." "It's easy to do." "Has been lately." "Well, it's the Republican President, you know."I knew I couldn't stay long at the Lou Ford show, as ANTiSEEN was playing later that night, and one has to prepare for such things. To my amazement, I was lucky enough to escort a few women into the show, which immediately made me stand out. As did the fact I wasn't a skinhead (rimshot!). Just kidding. The Boys From Brutalsville (doesn't that sound a lot better than Charlotte?) returned to town with a vengeance, and somehow managed to seem even more dangerous on the small stage. Running through favorites like "White Trash Bitch" and Ramones and Kinks covers, ANTiSEEN did what they do best: demolish stuff while they're playing. Exhibit A: the beer bottle. Singer Jeff Clayton has busted more beer bottles over his head over the years than most of us have drunk. Exhibit B: A barbed wire crown of thorns that Clayton pulls roughly over his brow while playing. Exhibit C: A large chain, which Clayton mostly just whipped around (the folks in the front wisely took a step back). My favorite? A washboard with the legend "666" affixed to it, which Clayton in turn played, lit afire, and then smashed all over the stage. Now that's what I call punk rock. Not the lighting on fire and smashing part, mind you, but rather having a washboard in your band.

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