Q: What do a ventriloquist, a janitor, a french horn player, a go-go dancer and a personal trainer all have in common? A: One ridiculously fun night at NYC’s Edison Hotel bar singing DAVID BOWIE. This night could have gone like any other night but these freakishly-talented performers created a tribute performance like no other, a testament to Bowie’s music and NYC’s lifestyle. Australian go-go dancer, Anna Copa Cabanna, arrived in her stars and stripes leotard (naturally, singing Bowie’s “Afraid of Americans”) and she was impossible not to love. Needless to say, tourists were enthralled. I had to laugh as she bopped around in blond bobbing hair, heels and a unitard. An older-couple having dinner at the bar managed to continue staring out the window at street traffic, denying her presence but not wanting to leave.
Carla Rhodes, NYC-based rock ‘n’ roll ventriloquist, comedienne and star of “The Continuing Story Of Carla Rhodes,” busted out her Bowie dummy and the two of them worked through one of Bowie’s lesser known hits, “Rubber Band” (I joined in on this tune with my horn). Carla has an unbeatable vibe about her, killer hair and an obvious obsession with dolls.
Eric Schmalenberger- “actor, boyfriend and janitor” at Brooklyn’s “House of Yes,” graced the crowd with his high-pitched ballads and brought a one-of-a-kind vibe. He’ll tell you first- he gets paid to be himself.
The show was part of the music series “Bespoke 2: The Music of David Bowie” at The Rum House (the Edison Hotel bar) on w 47th in midtown. Curated and lead by Benjamin Ickies, the band played three full sets of music that night- all Bowie tunes. I belted out “Diamond Dogs” and “Queen Bitch” in my military high heels, dog collar choker (literally- found it on the ground when gigging in CT), ripped up tank top and purple leopard pants. I’m learning about night-time dressing in NYC, particularly with the make-up. Next step – applying my own fake eye-lashes.
I was glad to meet Matt James (drummer for “Angelspit“) who provided rock solid beats with Grant Zubritsky playing the bass. Spencer Katzman on guitar. Ashley Monroe (“Ziggy Stardust”), Lisa Dispigno (“Time”) and John Presnell (“Space Oddity”) rocked out, per usual- I’m saving them for future blogs. Ickies was at his all-time best on rock piano (standing, of course – Tori Amos style)… which reminds me: last Sunday Ickies and his Ambitious Orchestra shot an unbelievable music video at Brookyln’s “House of Yes.” Some might say it’s a little over the top; I’d say literally- one scene involves aerial dancing and another involves a chick dancing with fire (swinging ropes around her body that were actually lit on fire), not to mention a hot team of cabaret dancers… keep an eye out for this vid (I’m top right in pic below).
It was an week of NYC style and expression. What can I say?… good to be “Young Americans.”
That being said, I paid my rent today and have like $6 left. Sigh.
- Today In Classic Rock History: Bowie Begins First US Tour At Cleveland’s Music Hall (wncx.radio.com)
- Video Classics: David Bowie – “Young Americans” (wcbsfm.radio.com)
- My favourite album: Station to Station by David Bowie (guardian.co.uk)
- This Date in History: David Bowie’s First Public Performance (929dave.radio.com)
- The David Bowie Food Pyramid (celebs.icanhascheezburger.com)