Kiki & Herb
Live at the Knitting Factory
Launching their first ever concert DVD, Kiki & Herb can now be with you, in your home, near you while you sleep. World-class fag hag Kiki DuRane (SF underground goddess Justin Bond) is just one rubber-necking car wreck into the next making President George Bush Jr. look merely like a drunken speed-bump in an aborted quest to heave an ill-equiped and unbalanced vehicle into a perpetual death spiral of right turns. But lest you think their perpetual drinking tours are too political know that tragedy is a huge component of their daily diet. “Between AIDS and Alzheimers we don’t have a fan over forty.” Enter into the deranged and bumpy ride with no speed limits, road signs or rest stops of Kiki and her gay gal pal Herb (Satan’s favorite pianist Kenny Melman) where the wayback machine always has a story from a year-and-a-half-ago and every camptastic song is punctuated with lubricated social commentary blended into a polluted stream of conscious medley. Like Captain & Tennille on a speed ball with a qualude chaser and a sidearm of Petron tequilla - which has only complimentary things to say - they splice songs like Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy,” Public Enemy’s “Don’t Believe The Hype” and “All That Jazz “ from the musical “Chicago” in a brilliant cabaret of the demented where the social-skewing, bad-example spewing and dogma chewing inmates are leading the show. With sage insights, “It wasn’t trendy to be a gay Jewtard like it is today” and uncomfortable over-sharing, “I learned in prison there’s more than one way to love” the subversive duo, grounded by Melman’s brilliant scoring, opens up the fermented anarchy of “unhinged song interpretations” with self-medicated madness extolling Nazi Pope’s for wearing Prada and President Bush for being a Cancer (the astrological sign). Like their live camptastic act, Kiki & Herb Live at the Knitting Factory brings you dangerously close to Kiki’s reach, close enough to smell the “magical drinking tour” come alive. Some of my favorites:
“Walking The Cow” by Daniel Johnston, “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” by Jim Steinman, “Same Old Lang Syne” by Dan Fogelberg, The Mountain Goat’s “No Children,”Benjamin Smoke’s “Someone’s House Always Burns at Christmas,”Scissor Sisters’ “Take Your Mama” and American Music Club’s “Patriot’s Heart.”
Mary J. Blige
The queen of hip-hop soul Mary J. Blige has turned into a mature and world-wise seer and sage not only spewing pleads for peace but also heartfelt steps of liberating prose for a nation that has been burnt by missteps and misdeeds. Since her RnB debut in 1992 she has wowed audiences and critics alike with authentic life lived through her music and earned three Grammys and seven multi-platinum albums while selling more than 40 million records and over 10 million singles worldwide in the process. Impressive accomplishments aside she demonstrates that her reputation and accomplishments are still well-deserved. On Growing Pains she comes back to a more youth focussed hip dance vibe and sluffs off what I considered to be the Oprah version of jumping the shark. Once you go on Oprah and dive into the pool of spirituality I pretty much don’t count on you rockin’ the floor but Miss Blige rolls out several anthems quickly finding favor. my picks: “Grown Woman” featuring Ludacris, “Just Fine,” “Feel Like a Woman,” “Shakedown” featuring Usher, “Til The Morning,” “Roses,” “What Love Is” and “Talk To Me.”
Last we checked in Ms. Jackson (if you’re nasty) was starring in a film and had recently pimped “So Excited” with the even more nasty Khia ((Lick) “My Neck, My Back”). “Feedback” is the lead single from Jackson’s tenth studio album and now a bumper crop of of dub, instrumental, radio and dancefloor mixes from Moto Blanco, Ralphi Rosario, Wideboys and Jody Den Broeder will entrance every disco bunny taste. She’s going high glam fetish and the futuristic vibe combined with slutty electro-tinged beats should push this well into the adults-only section. The full album is a sizzler as well so expect more anticipation and foreplay to whip things into a frenzy.
Drunk with Love: A Tribute to Frances Faye
Frances Faye (1912-1991) was a brilliant and bawdy cabaret and show tune singer and pianist who is espirited back on stage by the equally funny and talented Terese Genecco, winner of multiple show and cabaret awards. Channelling the best of Frances Faye, complete with Genecco’s “little big band”, she pulls in the most jaded of audiences and banters through fab old school songs including a swinging Beatle’s medley. Recorded live at New York’s The Metropolitan Room you are transported back into a time when lady singers were no ladies at all and Terese brings a wink and a nod to some old gems well worth hearing again. This is easily a cross-generational thrill that many artists simply don’t pull off that well. My picks: “The Man I Love,” “Tonight You Belong to Me,” “I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate,” “Should I Strip,” “Night and Day,” “Drunk With Love,” “Mister Rogers,” “St James Infirmary,” “Purple Wine” and “Finale (Frances & Her Friends).” Gig alert! Wallow in retro goodness with Terese Genecco and her little big band at San Francisco’s Hotel Nikko, Saturday nights through May.