Gas Bag Man

The winged wonder rags on dead Republi-con Jeff Groscost, Tempe's "PG clause," and Dr. Sketchy's anti-art lameness

But what the Tempe thought police are really pissed at is the fact The Edge didn't uphold Tempe's "PG clause" at the fiesta. According to Travis Dray, Tempe's Deputy Manager of Recreation services, all municipal parks are covered by the clause, which "protects the community from being offended by profanity, vulgarities, decibel levels, and any other actions that may offend community members." Oh, you know, like, holding a rock concert.

Reportedly, pretty-boy actor Jared Leto and his band 30 Seconds to Mars were the real bad boys of EdgeFest 2006, using the word "fuck" during their set, an expletive this avian is sure the teens and twentysomethings at the concert'd never heard before. Other groups used naughty words that day as well, and according to droopy Dray, all heck broke loose because of it.

"Bands using profanity on stage and girls dancing on beer tubs," Dray dutifully detailed for this dirty duck. "We've never had a PG clause violated to the extent that it was embarrassing [before]."

Dingleberry Dray argued that this wacker-than-wack PG clause was a lot like the FCC's indecency regulations. But The Bird thinks that's pure pigeon poop. For one thing, AM and FM radio is free and accessible to all, but a rock blowout like EdgeFest is more like cable TV: You have to pay for access, and if your snot-nosed young'uns get in and witness something untoward, it's your friggin' fault.

"Hey, it's not Swan Lake, it's a rock concert," declared Edge VP Nat Galvin, who also told this talon-bearer that "in no way, in my opinion, was EdgeFest 2006 any more rowdy than past EdgeFests or other festivals I have attended."

Galvin made a point of polling the Tempe cops on duty at the event: "Each and every one of those uniformed officers, to a person, told me it was a cakewalk."

The Veep's observations are bolstered by those of Justin Stewart, who worked security at EdgeFest's local band stage.

"The fans were being respectful and weren't out of control by any means," said Stewart. "I walked through the beer garden a couple of times, and the drinking crowd was more subdued than the underage crowd. It seemed like a typical rock show, only more chilled out."

Indeed, Tempe PD spokesperson Brandon Banks confirmed a total of only five arrests in and around Tempe Beach Park on the day of the concert. Whew, how ever did the cops keep up?

But despite the relatively tame atmosphere (for a rock concert), and the fact local businesses raked in the scrilla like Jeff Groscost on an alt-fuel sellin' spree, Tempe's major city departments, including fire, police, refuse services and custodial, will meet in the next couple of weeks to make a "team decision" on EdgeFest's fate, according to Dray. And you thought ASU Prez Michael Crow was the only one responsible for making Tempe into a big, fat, family-friendly joke. Seems Tempe is now, and may forever be in the future, Edge-less.

Art School Confidential

So this beret-wearin' beaker decided to acquire some art-fart kulcha a week or so ago by flapping down to Grand Avenue's Trunk Space gallery for its monthly Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School. Basically, Dr. Sketchy's a life-drawing class for those too cool for art school, or so it claims, with burlesquey, performance-arty models who strike a pose for sketchers paying $7 a pop to get their doodle on.

This Dr. Sketchy shtick's the brainchild of Gotham artist Molly Crabapple, a twentysomething illustrator and former life model who used to bare her mommy-parts in the name of fine (and we do mean fine) art education. Crabapple dreamed up Dr. Sketchy as a way to cross cabaret and art school, eschewing the old hippies, mental patients and arty types who normally take it all off and sit statue-still for sketching students.

"Why can't drawing naked people be sexy?" asks Crabapple's Web site at www.DrSketchy.com. Her pro-art propaganda promises "the most beautiful burlesque dancers, the most bizarre circus freaks, and the most rippling hunks of man" as models. In addition, there are "ridiculous drawing contests (Best left handed drawing? Best incorporation of a woodland animal?) where you can win booze or prizes." Sounds just like the kinda "art" this perved-out peregrine falcon can get with, bubbe.

Since beginning in Brooklyn circa 2005, Crabapple's "three hours of decadence," as she refers to her Sketchy sessions, have spawned chapters from London, England, to Melbourne, Australia. In May of this year, the Dr. Sketchy phenom blossomed in P-town thanks to the efforts of Amy Young, proprietor of Perihelion Arts Gallery and Bookstore, and Trunk Space twosome JRC and Stephanie Carrico.

All the wanna-be ribaldry sounded way-wicked on paper, but reality left this horny hummingbird disappointed in the extreme. Not only was there no full-frontal nekkid-ness in the hizzy, there was also no firewater and no excitement.

Indeed, if this Picasso-esque penguin recalls its college days correctly, life-drawing classes there were a riot by comparison to Dr. Sketchy. During the real deal, the models were always nude, if only occasionally hot. You could at least sneak in a bottle of Wild Turkey to add to your coffee if you wanted. And as the models had been there, done that, they knew how to hold a pose and could step back into it after a break.

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