Jay-Z’s On To The Next One: Probably A Good Signifier of the End of the Universe

Posted Posted in Gothic, music

Imagined preproduction interview with Jay-Z-

Director: What would you like in your video?
Jay-Z: Milk, flaming basketballs, corpsepaint, a dancer with diamonds on her face, paint being poured over Damien Hirst skulls, and teeth. Why, what were you thinking? Like, what if Matthew Barney made a music video? I’d love to have a Nike Dunk with the swoosh removed, filled with milk.
Director: Can we have birds, ink, and a vampire boxer?
Jay-Z: Sure, knock yourself out.

A skull-faced guy in a tuxedo has an emotional breakdown in the video, portrayed by a musician called Drums of Death who tours with Peaches. He’s Scottish. Of course. Scotland, of course, has had a rich and varied rap connection.

Director: Maybe we can shoehorn a yacht and a horse in there with the animal skulls and hand signals?
Jay-Z: Ok, but I’m not backing down on the hammer dipped in housepaint.
Director: DONE and DONE.

Karaoke In Its Homeland

Posted Posted in comedy, music

And so it came that I was in Hong Kong for the last night, and had not yet sung any karaoke.  Since I was alone, and singing karaoke alone in a foreign land does not make you pathetic, but strong and brave, and because I was worried about oversleeping for my flight, I made the only logical decision available to me: I would close the karaoke bars on a Wednesday night, pack whilst drunk, and stay up until it was time to fly home.

I started out at My Favor Bar in Nathan Street, a bar whose vodka selection was WHITE WOLF VODKA, the cheapest vodka available on the free market.  It is so full of impurities, it has a thickness.

This is my friend Jacky, who taught me how to operate the DIY karaoke system.  We sang I Love Rock and Roll, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, and Don’t You Want Me, Baby.  The barstaff was thrilled that someone who spoke  English was singing.

On the one hand, you have to enter your own songs, but on the other hand, there did not appear to be any real stigma to singing again and again.  Also, every song has a video.  If it doesn’t have a video, it’s not karaoke in HK.

Karaoke is so prevalent that it’s hard to find a bar where it’s NOT offered, but hard to find one where it’s the focus.  Out of the three bars I hit, the gain on the mike was so high that it’s best held waist level.  The reverb is also turned way up, so you sound like you’re singing in an echoey bathroom.  Also, there’s no stage or light, you just sing anonymously from your barstool.

On my way to my third karaoke bar, I cut myself on a glass elevator.  This is considered an occupational hazard and is not a cause for concern.

Selection:  The English selection holds all your standard favorites:

Centerfold by J.Geils, Spinning Wheel by Blood, Sweat, and Tears, and WHAM’S Careless Whispers.  After that, there is an obscene amount of ABBA, Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, and Richard Marx (!).  I was asked repeatedly to sing various Richard Marx songs that I had never heard before.  No wonder they think we’re mentally challenged.  They think we LOVE Richard Marx.

Facilities:  This is a really nice way to say- UNISEX TOILETS.

My last bar was named after my vocal range, which is good because I can’t remember anything about it.

Style: The preferred microphone is wireless, and the preferred delivery is sitting, and the preferred song is Cantonese ballads. These are sung by superstars in outfits that make Bjork look like Kathie Lee Gifford.  The Chinese find my style, which involves dancing,  various attempts to “work the room”, and make eye contact, embarrassing.

By the way, staying up all night before a twenty-hour flight is a GREAT idea until you actually turn up at the airport at 6AM, strung out and surrounded by Australians.


Posted Posted in artsy fartsy, comedy, music, portland, women

Any comics looking for HEADSHOTS: A very talented local photographer is Pasha Gross, and she shoots bands, strippers, and roller derby gals in town, and is in general a little fun and has a little edge to her.  I just did my shoot yesterday and had a lot of fun, and feel confident that I’ll get a great picture out of it.

Here is her website to check out her existing work: www.pashaproductions.com, you can make an appointment through that site, or you can call her at 503-236-5585.

All Hail Baby Ketten!

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in artsy fartsy, Gothic, karaoke, music, portland
I can’t keep my love a secret anymore. I can’t hide my love away! Among the many things that make Portland awesome, there is a karaoke organization called Baby Ketten that is rocking the best book in the business! You think your karaoke has a good book? Seriously- suck it. Have you ever wanted to sing Siouxsie Sioux’s apocalyptic lullaby, Metal Postcard? Probably not, but I did, and I sang it at Baby Ketten! Bauhaus’ Kick in the Eye? Think you can keep an audience through Pulp’s bump and grind classic, This is Hardcore? Find out! Do you think singing Laid by James will get a singalong going? Can you handle Tori Amos’ Crucify? Do you think you can step to The Strangler’s Peaches? Holy crap, this is a great book, and the crowd and KJ’s are all wonderful people. You can talk to them on their Facebook event page: Baby Ketten
Brian Perez Jr. Jr. Jr. and John “Baby Ketten Daddy” Brophy, at the Dunes, when I first met ’em


OK, to whet your whistle, here are just a HANDFUL of the items available for singin’:

*Siouxsie and the Banshees*Metal Postcard*Echo and the Bunnymen**Killing Moon*Senses Working Overtime*XTC*Each Man Kills The Thing He Loves* Gavin Friday*Quiet Life*Japan*This Charming Man*The Smiffs*Replacements*Alex Chilton*Nick Cave*Red Right Hand*Proclaimers*Sunshine on Leith*Beats International*Dub Be Good To Me*Belle and Sebastian*Funny Little Frog*Joy Division*Atmosphere*Nine Inch Nails*Something I Can Never Have*Pixies* No. 13 Baby*Beautiful South*Rotterdam*Pulp* This is Hardcore*Psychic TV* Godhead

You like singin’? THIS is hardcore!  They’re also the only karaoke establishment that I know of with its own app, called the Baby Ketten app, which offers the full songlist in your phone, and also will give you a kamikaze list to sing on demand!

The first night at the Woods was a jam-packed, scintillating media event- the venue used to be a funeral home, and it feels a little like singing in a friend’s living room. Full of GHOSTS!
A Baby Ketten favorite, Ryan Sablan, brought the crowd to its feet by singing a Turandot aria in an AC/DC shirt. That is the magic of Baby Ketten.

edit: The Woods is now just a memory, as is Beauty Bar and Dunes, but wow, there were some great shows and some great BKK events there, including evenings where we sang all of Abbey Road and Doolittle by them Pixies, and BKK now has all of Radiohead’s OK Computer, which will execute sometime this Spring.  For a karaoke addict, there is nowhere else.  Nowhere in the WHOOOLLLEE WOORRRLD!

BKK’s regular roster is currently:

Tuesdays at Mississippi Pizza, which has a wonderful full bar and vegan pizza (and regular pizza too, calm down)

Second Thursdays at the Alibi, Portland’s most tiki-riffic karaoke establishment, where the regulars are slightly flummoxed by the Karaoke selection, but is getting into the groove

UPDATE: Baby Ketten is now FULL TIME at their new location!  See details HERE!


Posted Posted in acting, music

Dear People;

I know it seems like Chariots of Rubber is all I write about these days, but that is largely because it is all I think about, or do. We are starting up again at the Interstate Firehouse on August 20th, running the 21st, 22nd, and at 6PM on the 23rd- and I will be playing Cindy, the Erotic Pleaser every night after Thursday. The show has new choregraphy, new films, a new theatre, and a new ending! It’s more Chubber than ever before!

During last night’s dress rehearsal, I was told my dress was not whorish enough, which has never happened to me before. Come out and see us! Ticket info and showdates here!

Love, Pleather, and Chariots of Rubber.

The Return of Chariots of Rubber!

Posted Posted in acting, music

Chariots of Rubber tickets are now available for the second run-

Bigger! Better! Bloodier!
I am singing the role of Cindy, the Erotic Pleaser, a street-weary and shopworn prostitute, with a legendary past and a strange secret, but miles to go before she sleeps- so basically playing myself, for all shows except Thursday, August 20th! Visit the website, built by the wonderful Pete, for tickets and more information!