By Ray Stern
By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
"Hey, there, New Times guy," slurs this boozy biddy in a pageboy hat beside me. "Show me what you're made of."
I didn't look twice at her perched there as I approached the bar, especially as her boyfriend was sitting on the other side of her. Guess someone must've told her Jett and I were the Inferno crew, or she surmised as much watching us interview people throughout the eve. Normally, I'd be all for some limber-limbed chicalina grinding on me like this, lifting her legs up over me like she's doing Pilates. But not with her papi chulo starin' over her shoulder.
I ease away with a pat on her shin and a smile, cadge my alkie-hall from the tender, and survey the piles of glammed-up bods squirming in the booths along the wall, waiting to get kicked out. An appropriately slutty close for a night aiming to evoke the glamour and excess of Gotham's notorious Club Kids as depicted in the 2003 flick Party Monster, based on the shockumentary of the same name and on James St. James' gruesome memoir Disco Bloodbath.
As most everyone knows, in the film and in real life, the special-K/ecstasy-fueled character arc of New York party promoter Michael Alig spirals out of control with the brutal killing and dismemberment of clubber/drug dealer Angel Melendez. Alig's still doing 10 to 20 for bludgeoning Melendez with a claw hammer, pouring Drano down the guy's throat and taping his mouth shut, then slicing up the body and dumping it into the East River. At the height of Alig's prominence during the late '80s and early '90s at Manhattan's Limelight club, trannies, freaks and geeks paraded through the converted church, popping, snorting and smoking every illicit substance known to man, while dressed as trashy chickens, scuzzy bears, serial murderers and so on, often doffing their duds at some point during the debauch.
Needless to say, The Biz ain't no Limelight. Still, there are trannies, freaks and geeks about as we enter. Jett's the first to note the unique smell of booger sugar in the air, though that's par for the course for just about every dance hall in P-town, and anyway, no one offers me any. In recent memory, The Biz has been known as a real rug-munchateria, and strangely the MAC-phobic, mullet-friendly diesel dyke contingent is in attendance for most of the F/G par-tay, playing pool on one of the tables off to the side, their Marlboro hard-packs poking outta their jeans pockets, completely oblivious to the glitzier goings-on beneath the mirrored disco balls. There, busty Snow Whites, hopped-up gay harlequins, platinum-blonde stewardesses and creepy goth chicks twirl about while Austin Head, Tiffe Fermaint and Jonny Noir take turns spinning a selection of electro, dance rock and New Wave.
The TV sets roll clips from the Party Monster documentary. On the bar and rises are some fairly hot go-go gals, and one particularly ripped go-go dood who spends a lot of time looking glassy-eyed and rubbing his black-spandex-encased man candy. Right off the bat, we run into The Noirish One, who's as tall as Yao Ming and sporting Herman Munster makeup, a blood-red poodle skirt, and a black tee with matching maître d' jacket.
"Love the go-go dancers, Jonny," oozes the J-blade. "Where did you get them?"
"Mostly from MySpace, dearie," confesses Jonny Boy. "I just post that I need some hooches, and they sign up."
"See, Jett, if you buy yourself a 'puter, you too can score hooches on MySpace," I tell her.
"I'm hooch-free for '06, Ass Master, you know that," she carps unconvincingly. "But there's nothing wrong with making out with them, right? I mean, it's not the same as goin' all Melissa Etheridge on their ass."
"Pardon her, Jonny. As you can tell, she has issues. So which one are you, anyway, Seth Green or Macaulay Culkin?" I ask, referring to the stars of Party Monster, the motion picture.
"Well, I haven't killed anyone yet, if that's what you mean," he says, laughing. "To be honest, the night came about because I was bored with what Phoenix had to offer. I enjoy the fashion and the makeup. I wanted to do something that was completely different from all the hip-hop nights out there."
"Looks like it's kinda 50-50 as far as who's costumed and who's not," I observe.
"It's not exactly the Manhattan Club Kids," Noir admits. "It's a slow start getting people to dress up, but everyone does do their own little thing. A change from the norm. People here are gay, straight, or whatever in between. Really, it's a night for anyone."