All Cramped Up
DJ Set by"Kogar the Swingin' Ape"
Dinah Deville and the Bloodstains Burlesque
The Ego doing The Cramps
and The Skeleton Beats
ME Down, November 20, 2014
Review and photos by John Keegan
This was a good idea from the get go. DJ Kogar the Swingin' Ape
spinning Crampcentric tunage while go go dancers alternated on dancing
cubes in the low light of the Middle East Down. The women are part of
a large burlesque troupe: Dinah Deville and the Bloodstains.
Their primary gig this night is to collaborate with The Ego
to pay homage to the wicked and wayward world of The Cramps.
Now, there ain't nobody on earth or in purgatory that can create an
infernal rocking snow globe like the sadly departed Lux
and the MIA for far too long Ivy, but this crew give
it a go.
They keep it simple, aren't slaves to perfection,
keep the big beat at the core and keep the psycho in the billy. The
Bloodstains shimmy and slime into The Cramps
side show freak songs. A Rubenesque beauty gives us a tawdry Human
Fly. Clothing peels and pasties flash as the troupe and The
Egos assure us that All Women Are Bad. The Military
Industrial Complex meets its match when it gets flanked by that Bikini
Girl with Machine Gun and a take no prisoners marching order.
The dude keeping burlesque safe for men kind gives us the Garbage
Man - tossing all kinds of nasty shit into the audience like GG
Allin on a creative jag. In the dark, in the back, two dancers
keep the go go going. They looked dreamy and surreal in the backlight.
Tramps, cramps, vamps and camp. The price of admission feels squared
and there is still one more band to go.
The Skeleton Beats push the peg up
another notch. They benefit from a set list made up of their own tunes
and a smattering of garage covers and kitschy Cramps'
detritus. The crowd has thinned but the holdouts have made a collective
decision to have car trouble in the morning. The Skeleton Beats
are a revved-up hard rock outfit with well-integrated influences - a
little Pretenders, a hint of Patti Smith,
a dash of 50's rock, a sparkle on the cusp of 80's hairband metal, punk.
A streak of girl group pop - minus the girls - jump up the choruses.
The energy doesn't flag. The band has a gang of regulars singing along
up front and there is a palpable threat of dancing.
Amy Von Eerie on lead vocals and
rhythm guitar is clearly in charge of this Hydra headed crew. Joey
Two-Fingers takes care of the melodic base lines and vocal
support. K-Rock has his way with terse, hooked up riffs and hard rock
leads minus the showboating. Johnny "Too Sexy" Carlevale,
keeps things moving on rhythm guitar. Both support the vocals. Mike
Rancid keeps the beat hard, fast and in the pocket.
The Bloodstains make a few seemingly
less than planned cameos. This turns to best effect when a slave in
a full-leather B and D head mask gives guitarist K Rock
some rhythmic, self-serving leg attention during The Cramps
ode to pet rescue, Can Your Pussy Do the Dog. The sound mix is solid.
The lyrics of Skeleton Beat's tunes are probably clearly
audible to unimpaired ears. Snippets reveal sly, rock feminist takes
on relationships. Like this one from their fine Love Death Danger
ep - Paramore's reverse butterfly kiss homage to Chrissie
Hynde - "He's Special. I'm not." The Skeleton Beats
have tight tunes, great lead vocals, ripped guitar lines, crunchy rhythm
hooks and good taste in covers. And then come the big choruses. Yeah,
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah // Yeah.
Not By Punk Rock Alone Super Mega Fest, Tara Framingham, November
Super Mega Fest is a Comic con thing; booths, costumes,
trash culture and the Bat Mobile. Mick Lawless, the bass player in Moose
and the Mudbugs and the leader of the Mike Nesmith
loving Loose Salute books and plays pick up band for the after party
music. Tonight the crowd is a bit lame - the seats don't help - but
the music is a successful, oldies, cover-heavy mix.
Nikki Luparelli and the Total
Blam Blams previewed their cocktail Bowie show. The band is
swingin'. Nikki is playing the subdued chanteuse this evening. Maybe
she's saving a little. Check her out - with Burlesque - at Oberon this
Friday night, November 28. She will be the lady grinning soul. Oh, and
bring a date.
One hit wonder, Gary DeCarlo, warms
up the crowd with a smile inducing version of Na, Na, Hey, Hey, Kiss
Him Goodbye. Classic rock trivia question - what did they call the
Next up, the man everyone is waiting for, Mickey Dolenz.
He looks like you remember plus a few years. He whips through Steppin'
Stone, the Davy Jones tribute Day Dream Believer,
Last Train to Clarksville and I'm a Believer. Whata voice.
Last but not least the Oh No's. Deep
cut Beatles and Beatle side project
tunes. Absolutely worth catching with a group of well lubricated, like-minded
friends in a suburb near you.