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Put Down The Liquor and Sing

Disco-punk, Rocky Horror, and a burning question

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Last Tuesday was a date I had circled on my calendar some time ago. The Detroit "disco-punk" band The Electric Six were to play a show at The Room, along with opening act Junior Senior, which is basically a heavyset gay man and a thin straight one (they disco-dance too, in a campy indie-rock sort of way).

Turns out, however, that Junior Senior were too tired to play. According to more than one inside source, one of the boys had developed a cold after sitting at the club for over two hours. Right before the doors were set to open, either Junior or Senior decided it was time to opt out. Why the duo didn't think of this earlier (before, say, ordering deli trays and a bottle or two of liquor) remains a mystery. Doesn't matter. The place was still packed, and folks got to pretend they were in some cool club in Chapel Hill for a few hours. Used to be that no one in town would book shows like this, thinking that no one would show up. Who'd-a thought it'd be one of the bands not holding up their end of the bargain?

Thursday, The Evening Muse hosted The Central Playhouse players, along with a musical group featuring Poprocket, Brent Bagwell of Pyramid, Chris Garges, and Muse owner Joe Kuhlmann. They were assembled to put on a performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which is apparently to Halloween what The Nutcracker is to Christmas.Last week I mentioned that I'm not a huge fan of Rocky Horror, placing it somewhere in the company of a film like Willy Wonka -- a fun movie to be sure, but not an occasion to dress up for. But, ahh, people love to cross-dress, and try out different aspects of their personality that they're perhaps afraid to exhibit in their private lives. I spotted more than one middle-aged person doing that grinding dance that older people do where it looks like they're stubbing out a cigarette with their shoe, and gleefully wailing to all assembled about "them sweet transvestites."

The whole thing was a hell of a lot of fun, however, and a lot of money was raised for a damn good cause (The Metrolina AIDS Project). It's just that, well, it's all sorta goofy, when you get right down to it. What can I say? Fun as it may be for some, it just doesn't "toucha toucha touch" me like it does most others. (Plus, no Meat Loaf!)

Halloween Night. All Hallows Eve. Friday night. Little Hemingway sentences.Ever since I was little, I've had a love/hate relationship with that holiday. While it's nice to have a darker holiday on the slate, it now rivals Christmas as one of the biggest commercial windfalls of the year. As Dave Barry says, "When you see Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus and tree lights popping up in your drugstore, it can only mean one thing: it's almost Halloween."

Then there's that whole peer pressure thing about wearing a costume. Go out without one, and minor-league Jack Bennys everywhere hit you with the obvious taunts: "What are you dressed as? A dumbass?" (My answer: "No, it's that serial killer that people always thought was "so nice' and "kept to himself.'")

I decided to brave such local wits and go out anyway. First stop was to be The Steeple, which was featuring dancers and a costume contest and live filming from Comedy Central's Insomniac show, hosted by comedian Dave Attell. After seeing a line snaking down the block, I decided to skip the Steeple. (Evidently, Attell did too, word has it. What is it with the "stars" dissing our World Class City?).

I ended up at Fat City, the venerable club that's soon closing its doors to live music. It'll be a shame. Few places in Charlotte have ever hosted such a Fellini-like cast of characters: women with dog collars, chained to their men. Rednecks with top hats and Birkenstocks. Dumb hip hop kids and dumb rock kids, being dumb together in a tolerant environment. (And we're not even talking about Halloween!)

It seems that no readers have the answer to last week's question: why are there speakers emitting bird noises in the trees near Ericsson Stadium. It could be that you don't know the answer, or that those who do know the answer don't read this here column. It could even be that you're a racist and don't want the chance to win a kick-ass new hip hop CD (in this case, Outkast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below).

I'm giving you one last shot. If you have the answer to the question above, e-mail it to timothy.davis@cln.com, and you'll receive the album, plus a special bonus CD to be determined. Or if you'd rather, send a nude picture of yourself holding up a sign saying, "I love Scene and Herd." We'll even throw in a drink coozie for that one.

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