Why hello there, dearest of deary-dear Filthy Dreams readers! What’s that? You don’t know what to do on Labor Day? Us either. I mean, what *World Famous* drink concoction are we supposed to make on Labor Day of all days? Something labor intensive like moonshine? Bathtub gin? We’re so lost!
While we are mulling, shaking or stirring, we decided to take a shimmy and a shake down memory lane with some of our favorite burlesque–well, I guess it’s neo-burlesque (whatever that means)–performers and performances. Maybe it’s the crisp fall breeze coming off Tropical Storm Hermine today or the “back to school” sales at Duane Reade but something about this holiday weekend just makes me think of Chris Harder’s “Hot For Teacher” performance. Don’t you feel the same way? No?
Marion and I witnessed all of these performers in venues from the original–and free (our price!)–Meaner Harder Leather at the now-closed Vig 27 to Weimar New York at Joe’s Pub and Banzai! at the Red Lotus Room before Crown Heights became the bastion of yoga studios, organic grocery stores and $25 a plate New American beet-based restaurants. We also misbehaved at all of them so I’d like to take this Labor Day to apologize if we disrupted any performances by breaking shot glasses or shouting disparate Marilyn Manson lyrics at each other. We had been drinking–namely the sludge that Vig 27 sold as margaritas. Whatever, we loved them anyway.
So grab yourself whatever you’d like to drink on Labor Day and let’s get steamy and sleazy in these last days of summer!
1. Chris Harder’s “Hot For Teacher”
Formerly known as Go-Go Harder (he’ll always be Go-Go to us), Chris Harder first burst on the neo-burlesque scene all corn-fed and Midwestern charm. We first met Go-Go (when he was still Go-Go) at Vig 27’s Meaner Harder Leather night. He came up to us even though we were way too drunk to be there at that point after overworking an open bar at MoMA’s PopRally party and clowning our way through a Warhol-inspired screentest but that’s another story for another day. Smiling and introducing himself to us, we fell hard for Harder. While he never really lost his good ole boy charisma, today, Harder is also doing porn–pearl clutch! I’m reminded of Harder’s cinematic career frequently when I scroll through his junk on Twitter. But who’s complaining?! Here, you can watch one of my favorites of Chris Harder’s performances “Hot for Teacher” just in time for the start of the school year. Make sure you bring your #2 pencil!
2. Stormy Leather‘s “I’m Your Man”
Stormy Leather represented the “Leather” of Meaner Harder Leather with Chris Harder and Misty Meaner and boy, was she a vision! Even through our margarita haze, we could see that Leather always seemed to bring the house down and managed to still be a little intimidating in the process. Whether tying herself up with rope or performing a sordid version of Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” video, Leather is all androgyny and angles. My favorite performance, though, has to be her rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “I’m Your Man.” Leonard Cohen’s music already has a smooth, seductive and just a tad creepy quality that really lends itself to perversion. And if you can play with gender in the process, all the better!
3. Tigger! as Tawny the Tigress
I’ll admit I owe a lot to Tigger James Ferguson (otherwise known as Tigger!)’s haggard old Times Square sex worker Tawny the Tigress. Tawny’s quotes about being “a STAAAR in the golden age of Times Square sleaze” or “cheap so you could be too” has carried me through many an article about the depraved darker days of porn theaters, shops and yes, prostitutes like the despondent Tawny. In fact, Tigger!’s invocation of being a STAR has influenced a constant love of songs about stardom like Sylvester’s “Stars,” which just seems to indicate a wayward hope before a really hard and unforeseen fall. That’s a good soundtrack to most of my life. Anyway enough about me, please enjoy Tawny in all her washed-up glory as she pleads and pleads for your love. And who wouldn’t give it to her! She liked us! She really liked us!
4. Bambi The Mermaid’s Lobster
Bambi the Mermaid will always be synonymous with Coney Island for me. It might have something to do with her treasured spot in the annual Mermaid Parade. However, her hilarious performances of sea life, which recall influences from John Waters to The B-52’s, just exemplify that quintessential Coney Island mixture of cheese and camp. And what better way to showcase some Coney Island schmaltz than with Bambi doing her best lobster routine with a side of glittering butter for taste (or lack thereof). As Coney Island closes for the season soon, you better get a taste of that lobster now before it’s too late!
5. Dr. Donut Makes His Horrible Appearance at This or That!
While Bradford Scobie’s Dr. Donut may not be taking his clothes off any time soon–or his blue jeans that he wears just like us, he is a much-beloved burlesque staple here at Filthy Dreams. Like Dr. Evil if he had a glandular problem, Dr. Donut is the supervillain to out-eat all other supervillains. Muahahahhahahaa! *cough* While Dr. Donut doesn’t make that frequent of appearances as Scobie performs regularly as the illustrious Sir Richard Castle at the Slipper Room, we like to watch and rewatch the few videos of Dr. Donut on YouTube including our extra for you, dearest Filthy Dreams readers, the incredible show-down between Dr. Donut and USA Woman. As you can imagine, it is a battle for the ages.