Tag Archives: Hungry March Band

Marvelous Musicians: Rob, Sara & Miss Roach

photo.jpgMy friend Rob is the braintrust behind Balloon Chain and a multi-talented musician. I’ve volunteered to help him with the Balloon Chain at Coachella, EDC and the Treasure Island Music Festival. He has played keyboard in a bunch of bands, many of which have performed at my events. Along with all his musical gigs, he often works with national acts such as Fischerspooner and Polyphonic Spree, bringing balloons, shooting off his confetti canon or blowing bubbles from his bubble machine, and has unofficially gifted the following acts with the surprise of dozens, sometimes hundreds, of balloons at their shows: The Psychedelic Furs, Hall and Oates, Fleetwood Mac, The Who, Roger Hodgson (Supertramp), Elton John, Billy Joel, Judas Priest, Van Halen, The B-52s, Lorde, La Roux, Kraftwerk and Devo. This guy seriously knows how to have fun!

12079688_10153758249451495_4114163344894931315_n.jpgSara Valentine is a producer and promoter who I’ve been working for — and with — for years. She wrangles the Hungry March Band, dancing and spinning a hula hoop with them in parades, produces the street-centric marching band convention HONK NYC! Festival and, most recently, she has joined the all-female Afro-Brazilian Samba Reggae Percussion Band, Batala. They were just on Saturday Night Live this past weekend, which is pretty fucking cool. In addition to all her crazy musical and nightlife antics, she’s my accountant!

MissRoach.pngRachael Devlin, aka Miss Roach, is more than a Gate superstar and DPW Saloon Manager. She’s a mixologist and a musician, unofficial den mother, a founder and clergy member of Jerk Church, and lead accordion player with Ghost Town Gospel. She manages to keep her cool while juggling all these jobs, besides booking tours and tolerating drunken jackassery. Plus she looks super glamorous in polka dots! Now, if I could only get her to come to NYC.

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A Week, Lost; A Friend, Lost; A Coastline, Lost

I’ve been avoiding my computer, suffering from a strange anxiety. I got home three weeks ago and this past one was pretty much a total wash. Hurricane Sandy blew into town and I worked through the whole storm, from noon till 3am, eventually bartending by candlelight to a motley group of neighborhood folks who’d never been to the bar before. It was magical.

Since my power was out, I spent the next afternoon in the bar as well, drinking till midnight, then bumbling home by flashlight. On Wednesday I ventured uptown to recharge my phone, call my mom and have a meal. I also found out only the littlest bit about what was going on in the tri-state area. I walked back downtown into the darkness, fetched my pirate coat from a blacked out basement and got into costume. Even Scribble dressed up!

The poodle and I stopped by the Double Down, found Decibel and walked crosstown to Spring and Sixth Ave., where about 100+ costumed revelers had assembled for a renegade parade. The Hungry March Band was among them and they led the festive crew through the darkened streets of the West Village. When it appeared as though the marchers might be headed uptown into the light, I broke off from the pack with a few others and cabbed back to my ‘hood.

At Double Down there were already a few dozen blinky burners eager for an East Village bar crawl, so we strolled through the moonlit streets to 7B, Manitoba’s, Doc Holliday’s and back to Double Down. It was the spookiest, most special Halloween ever!

By Thursday I was suffering from a three-day hangover, still without power and pretty done with it all so I took a bus uptown and a cab across the river to take refuge at Pinky’s. A hot shower and Thai food was just the ticket! By the following afternoon I felt ready to return and the two of us were lucky enough to get a ride right to my door. When we were in the car at Second Ave. and 14th St. I noticed, “Hey! That traffic light is on. Wait! ALL the lights are on!” So our timing was perfect; I arrived home to hear the heat kicking in and watch the real horrorshow on TV.

Pinky and I forged on, however, cobbling our costumes together, then cabbing into midtown for Kostume Kult’s postponed Halloween party, which had been relocated to Times Scare. So fun! And a welcome change from the cold and dark. Sadly so many people still aren’t as lucky. There are hundreds of ways to help but it will take quite some time to rebuild the areas damaged by the storm and get things back to “normal.” There’s really not much need for me to rehash the news of how much of our coastline is lost.

I spent the weekend obsessively cleaning my apartment. It’s been since…well, probably since June. It was the only thing I could manage. I was barely able to leave my building; I felt agoraphobic. So my home is now immaculate. Yet I wanted very much to assist those less fortunate. Yesterday I jumped at the opportunity for a ride to Staten Island, hoping to help out. Instead I wound up on a day-long drive, picking people up, passing devastated homes and turned away from overstocked collection points. It was great, I guess, to witness so much abundance but I had wanted to get OUT of the truck and shovel sand or something. Instead we wound up donating our truckload of supplies to a senior/homeless shelter. Certainly not a bad thing but also not my intention. Had I known that we were only going to drop off donations, as opposed to working, I would’ve tried another tact. It wouldn’t have taken five people to unload the truck…

This morning I woke up ready for a fresh start. But I was still digesting last night’s shocking news that an old friend, Erocktica’s Pink Snow, had died of a heart attack. I remain in disbelief: a young woman — and new mother — in apparently perfect health. How does this happen? I am just stunned. Erocktica was Mondo Porno’s “house band” and really made the events memorable, from San Francisco to Boston to Vegas. She had bowed out of the rock band and nightlife world to go back to school and start a family. I cannot believe her dreams have been cut short.

Wow. Just wow. So. Much. Loss.

Mardi Blah

Mardi Gras is one of my High Holy Days. Last year I was in New Orleans, marching with the Krewe of Saint Anne on Fat Tuesday. Since Louisiana wasn’t in the budget this year, I had to settle for a little local color. So Ruth, Pinky and I got our glitter on and headed out to Billy Hurricane’s, where the barmaid was wearing a bright red minidress with a plunging neckline, raccoon-eye makeup and a teased ponytail. Not a smidge of glitter, gold or green to be seen. Now this establishment’s raison d’etre is Mardi Gras so you’d think that the only person behind the bar might at least give a little nod to the holiday. Nope. And did she make mention of our festive attire? Nope. She did, however, act like a supreme bitch.

Anyway, we got ourselves a table since the place was, surprisingly, kinda empty. I didn’t trust myself to go back to the bar for more booze, fearing I’d tell off the bitchy barmaid and get us kicked out. Fortunately my friends didn’t mind doing the dirty work. Supposedly she got “nicer” as the evening wore on and even winked at Ruth. Uh, yeah, my bet would be that the wink was pure sarcasm. If she’d winked at me I probably would’ve popped her in raccoon-eyed eye. (Cue kicking out.) The Cajun spiced tater tots were the place’s only saving grace.

After achieving a proper Mardi Gras buzz, we decided it was time to move along to the next event. Which wasn’t a moment too soon because the place had filled up with dozens of BEIGE people: mostly female, all wearing the same clothes, same color hair, same haircuts, same handbags. I stumbled out of there shrieking “That is the muggliest bar EVAR!” (This has become a standard cri de coeur for me. Apparently I have become so ensconced in my own little world of weirdos that I am completely out of touch with “normals.”)

Pinky opted out of the activities at this point and Karie had joined in; the three of us grabbed a cab to Gowanus for a Mardi Gras party at The Bell House. In case I haven’t mentioned it before, I’m a total borough snob. I never know where I am in Brooklyn and most of it feels like a no-man’s land. We circled blocks of warehouse spaces until we arrived to find a room full of horrible denim-clad hipsters! Not one person wearing gold, green or purple! Or beads! Even the bartenders were bead-less in boring blue jeans. A few burners showed up and stood out like sore thumbs: a single blinking EL wire top hat swimming in a sea of BLAH! I’d seen the Hungry March Band a million times — and usually for free — so I wasn’t exactly enchanted by the music. I had to get the hell outta there!

Fortunately my friend Rob rescued me and  swept me back into Manhattan to see Bjork’s drummer, Manu Delago, play an instrument that looked like a flying saucer. On a few of his pieces he was backed by a choir of blonde Icelandic women. Whoa! They were like angels! And all this took place at Rockwood Music Hall, a pizza slice of a venue on Allan Street, mere blocks from my apartment. Aaahhh!

In conclusion it was a good thing I got my Mardi Gras on the previous Friday at “NYC’s Most Authentic Mardi Gras Party!” Now that was festive! Pinky and I handed out beads while Johnny and Billy bartended, Eric took photos against a green and gold backdrop and everyone danced to Brother Josephus and the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra. The two of us had waaaay too many hurricanes and waayy too much fun!

EditrixAbby’s Valentine’s Party Picks

Ack. I hate Valentine’s Day. Over the years even when I’ve had a valentine – and there have been plenty – I’ve felt uncomfortably smug. It’s a manufactured holiday, created to sell cards and chocolate. While it can be a romantic time, it is more often the cause of anxiety. If you’re finding yourself in that latter emotional realm, you certainly aren’t alone. But if being proactive, as the optimists love to say, is your way of dealing with your “dreaded singledom,” here are a few of my suggestions for “staying in the game.”

ImprovDates
If you fall between the somewhat arbitrary ages of 38-48 and you’re comfortable laughing at yourself (and others) you might enjoy Monday night’s ImprovDates, an entertaining cross between improvisational comedy and speed dating. Participants call it “fun and tension-breaking” and it certainly beats sitting across the table from a stranger, attempting small talk.

Event Details:
Date: Monday, February 7th
Event: ImprovDates for ages 38-48
Time: 7-9:30pm
Venue: Turtle Bay NYC, 987 2nd Ave between 52nd & 53rd
Price: $40 – includes one complimentary cocktail
Special Deal: Two-for-$60. Sign up with a friend of the opposite sex to each save $10, AND both get a free drink!
More info: www.improvdates.com

Sex Worker’s Literati’s ‘Ho’s Valentine Party’
For those looking to thumb their noses at romance and celebrate people who feign love for a living, join Zoe Hansen and David Henry Sterry for their Sex Workers Literati’s Ho’s Valentine Party. They’ll be serving up a night of “booze, burlesque, and a bevy of seamy, steamy stories” featuring readings by author, multimedia personality, love, sex and relationships writer Abiola Adams; Sex Workers’ Art Show participants and Literary Death Match Champion Lorleei Lee; exotic dancer and Mr. Choade’s Upstairs/Downstairs regular Rosabelle Selavy; the hosts Sterry and Hansen as well as yours truly.

Event Details:
Date: Wednesday, February 9th
Time: 8pm
Venue: Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery
Price: Free!
More info: www.bowerypoetry.com

Endless Night’s ‘Vampire Ball: Anti Valentine’s Masque’
If you are inexplicably drawn to Dracula, red wine and those Twilight films, you will definitely enjoy Endless Night’s Vampire Ball: Anti Valentine’s Masque. The immortal coterie behind this event celebrates their 16th annual Ball with two floors of goth/industrial music, performances by Mystical Hips and Libertina Dance Company, emcee Empress Chi Chi Valenti and more.

Event Details:
Date: Saturday, February 12
Time: 11pm-4am
Venue: Santos Party House, 96 Lafayette Street
Price: $18 in advance, $20 at the door and $30 for couples
More info: vampireballnyc2011-efbevent.eventbrite.com/

Rubulad’s ‘Super Fantastic Love Explosion! A Valentine’s Dance’
If fangs and frock coats aren’t your thing, perhaps you’d prefer to trek to Brooklyn and hobnob with the hipsters at Rubulad’s ‘Super Fantastic Love Explosion! A Valentine’s Dance.’ Brooklyn’s “longest running art party” has been transforming boring nightcrawlers into actual artists for years now, so even if you don’t find a valentine, you may find your inner muse! The line-up is, as always, jam-packed with entertainment, including Lily & The Parlour Tricks, Viva’s Rock & Roll Burlesque, Modern Dance Awareness Society and The Dreams and Aspirations Vending Machine by Yung O., with DJs Shakey, $mall¢hange and The Vintage DJ spinning your super-creative soundtrack.

Event Details:
Date: Saturday, February 12
Time: 10pm-4am
Venue: 41 Varick Avenue, Brooklyn
Price: $10-$20
More info: 347-469-1553

Gemini & Scorpio’s ‘Steamy Valentine’s Night at the Russian Baths’
The sexy sprites of Gemini & Scorpio aren’t letting the celebration of Eros go by without a soiree! If you’re feeling especially daring, you may consider shedding your clothes for their ‘Steamy Valentine’s Night at the Russian Baths.’ I’ve written about their ‘Lip Service’ event in Soho but this tantalizing night out will require a trip to Kensington, Brooklyn. However, once there, you’ll be in paradise! Enjoy Russian, Turkish and Swedish steam rooms, jacuzzi, poolside dance floor, hookah lounge, delicious food and lots of steamy, sexy people! Add in entertainment by Hungry March Band and Mehanata (Bulgarian Bar) DJ Joro Boro and you won’t believe you’re in America!

Event Details:
Date: Monday, February 14
Time: 7pm-2am
Venue: Brooklyn Banya, 602 Coney Island Ave bet Beverley Rd & Ave C, Kensington, Brooklyn
Price: $35-$85
More info: www.geminiandscorpio.com

And if, after one (or all!) of these events you find yourself with a new paramour, you can join the kinksters at Chemistry for another one of their new nights, ‘SpellBound,’ “a lighthearted foray in BDSM, with sexy upbeat music, playful spankings, masters who adore their pets and lots of toys to lovingly tease the senses.” This fresh foray takes place on February 18. Check their web site for more info.

Whether you’re single or some interesting configuration of coupledom, there’s never a shortage of sexy things to do in New York City!