Monday, December 12, 2005

Harajewku Girl?

Written for JUNK, recycled for here:

When Brad and I accepted an invitation to see Princess Superstar perform at Crobar, I did not expect to find myself in the recently blessed DJ booth, next to an electric menorah, surrounded by enormous inflatable dreidels, under a screen reading "JEWCY," watching goy/mixmaster extraordinaire Conrad Ventur bravely blaze virgin musical territory by mashing up selections from God Is a Moog: The Electronic Prayers of Gershon Kingsley with any song able to even slightly dilute the pious yet completely bizarre combination of scripture and experimental synthesizer.

I learned a lot at Crobar. I learned, for example, that Jewcy is more than just a pun; it is in fact a Jewish webzine where one can purchase "Shalom Motherfucker" attire. Defying every nightlife experience of the last two months of my life, I learned that there is a breed of New Yorker immune to the new Madonna single—so unmoved, in fact, that they actually sat down on the dance floor when Conrad played it. I also learned that Jews seriously don't like Christmas and no less than four Vaudeville-style musical numbers can accurately express the depth of this sentiment.

The event was a benefit as well as a Chanukah party. Had I known this, I might have expected the weird variety of performers in the lineup. Without a schedule of acts to give me any clue who might be taking the stage, the spaces between numbers felt like the turning of some giant sweepstakes drum filled with the name of every comedian and musician belonging to the chosen people. Crank, crank, the next act is...Rachel Dratch reading a poem! Crank, next up...uh, how about Triumph the Insult Comic Dog?

Except, you know, for real.

Rap trio Northern State and Princess Superstar brought the funk to the somewhat funk-resistant crowd. Comedian Todd Barry (you could tell he was a comedian because he was wearing the legally required stand-up uniform of an untucked button-down and jeans) denounced Polish food, the neighborhood of Chelsea, and the entire borough of Brooklyn in less than five minutes. Jackie Hoffman sang a fuck you to every group who’s asked her to perform at a benefit, but more importantly (for me) put a name other than “you know, that one…” to her face.

Bookending the evening was certified space cadet Perry Farrell. He began the show by spinning Roy Orbison and ended it singing "Jane Says." "How does it feel to be a modern Jew," he asked during his DJ set. "Kinda classy...kinda special," he answered himself.

I was raised Catholic and therefore have very little idea how it feels to be a modern Jew, but I am inclined to agree that there is something kinda special about Judaism. Catholics rarely rent entire Manhattan nightclubs to celebrate their faith. Even if they did, I highly doubt their party would culminate with Perry Farrell's crotch inches from a girl's face. I can only guess that she was imagining herself as the Jewliet to his Romeo when she actually licked her lips and groped away.

Catholic parties have Kool-Aid and sugar cookies. Jewish parties facilitate the pawing of lead singers' genitals. If that is not "kinda special," I will never understand anything about religion.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Rebecca said...

Interesting entry. I'm not a big Jewcy fan, but I do have to admit to loving the underwear they sell... They have a pair that has the same initials found on a dreidel which stand for "a great miracle happened here." Wonderful underwear.

"I also learned that Jews seriously don't like Christmas and no less than four Vaudeville-style musical numbers can accurately express the depth of this sentiment."

I could say so much about this. But yes, most Jews REALLY HATE CHRISTMAS. Not Christmas itself, but the secularization and commercialization of Christmas. You'd think most Christians would be with us on the hating of that phenomenon, but amazingly, few are...

But I'll let it go now. Your site isn't the place for me to go on a rant about how THERE IS SO SUCH THING AS THE HOLIDAY/GIVING SEASON. Ahem.

Too bad the LeeVees weren't at this benefit. They seem hilarious.

6:00 PM  
Blogger What'sHerFace said...

Yeah, I see the hatred of the total cultural domination of Christmas. I was just amazed that there were so many musical numbers to go along with it!

As a side note, Christmas as a holiday kind of loses some of its panache after you spend eight hours putting decals on the ENTIRE NINJA TURTLES SUBTERRANEAN SEWER HOCKY SET FOR YOUR LITTLE BROTHER WHILE EVERY OTHER KID IS PLAYING WITH THEIR NEW STUFF.

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

Mm, the song thing I kind of take for granted. Comes from going to Jewish summer camp, I guess. After all, I do own a tape with a song called "Circumcision Blues" on it.

And while the Ninja Turtles decals didn't ruin Christmas for me, they sure ruined lots of other things. The Turtles themselves ruined my ability to consider Rafi as a legitimate option for a Hebrew name for my future son. And they dominated several hours of our family trips to MGM Studios. Stupid Ninja Turtles...

6:52 PM  
Blogger secretsekertary said...

oh kathy you're such a rock star! ~ms. texas

8:03 PM  
Blogger SCHRmm said...

I hate christmas but my jewish and moslim friends love it. The moslim ones have organised a christmas party and the jewish one, well her family are having me over for christmas dinner. My family are too jewish for christmas, too athiest for hanukah and too dysfunktional for my birthday. Jewcy sounds good, like the kind of jewish I could belong to...Shame I live in london

7:59 AM  

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