Performance Report: Unisex Salon Opening

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Your humble editor is still fighting a diabolical cold, but since Thursday is the new Friday and blah blah blah, I headed down to the Delancey, fellow blogger and photographer Jane Gavin in tow, for the opening of Unisex Salon. Produced by James Coppola and downtown impresario Earl Dax, Unisex is weekly grab bag of goodies, from the near-profound to the profane.

My account of the bar, the beatboxing and the ball sacks, plus a gallery of images, after the jump.

We dutifully arrived at 10PM and encountered the Culturebot himself, Andy Horwitz, along with the delighful Neal Medlyn (The Paris Hilton of Performance Art). There was some douche bag holiday party ensconced on the upstairs patio, and bands occupied the downstairs, so we were forced into a holding pattern. Glenn Marla, “New York’s Hottest Fat Queer Go-Go Dancer” was on the bar, decked out like Davyd from Little Britain with an S&M bent. Many of the usual suspects were milling around, including musician and Shortbus star Jay Brannan and a Dazzle Dancer or two. DJ’s Tikka Massala and Michael Cavadias were spinning in the main room, where a slide show if images by photographer Henny Garfunkel were projected. Too self-conscious (read: not drunk enough) to dance, Jane and I ended up wandering from the upstairs (Whose holiday party is this? Is the guy dressed as Santa Claus blitzed? Is that MTV’s John Norris?) to the dance floor and back again. The fireplace in the main room would’ve been nice, except it was an exceptionally warm November evening. Thanks global warming. I sipped a Dewar and soda, while sweet Jane tried to get a decent fucking shot of Trina go-go dancing on the bar.

Kicking off the performance portion of our evening was, appropriately, the band Unisex Salon, back from a hiatus. Tattooed, sweaty, hawt lead singer Kenyon Phillips kept asking the crowd “What do you think?” Judging by the response, I think they liked it. Earl turned over MC duties to the co-host for the evening, Nick Hallett, while he distributed “carpet remnants” at the front of the stage to sit on. Thoughtful, that. Crowd favorite Taylor Mac played a Christmas song about his grandparents followed by an ode to past loves. Glenn Marla, filling in between acts, started an impromptu performance of Meatloaf’s “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad.”

Circus composer Sxip Shirey, fresh off tour with the Dresden Dolls, was joined by human beatbox Adam Matta to create some mind-blowing soundscapes. And I thought I knew all that people could do with their mouths.

If you’ve seen an Earl Dax event before, you know he likes to mix the highbrow with the low. Enter neo-burlesque drag performer Rose Wood. Rose, decked out in a hooters t-shirt and denim skirt (loved the raccoon tails), began her white trash strip tease by spitting whiskey on the crowd from the bottle she was carrying. Off came the Hooters shirt to reveal some very large, if discernibly fake, plastic hooters. Then off came the skirt and the pink panties to reveal a discernibly real penis. After a quick shake of said organ to the crowd, Rose placed the whiskey bottle on the table, squatted over it, picked it up with her anus, and then yanked it from between her cheeks and took a hearty swig. Following a brief delay where the audience was asked to help search for Wood’s missing panties, the penis portion of the evening continued with Neal Medlyn serenading the crowd sans pants. Like Hallett said, “It’s a good night for penis, but a bad night for pubic hair.”

The athletic, anarchic dance troupe the Daisy Spurs closed the night, with their high energy songs and lots of dry humping. The lithe and somewhat frightening Milan! leapt into the crowd for some uplanned “contact improv” before the show ended, the dancers mingling with the audience, any distinction between the two now obscured.

Standing outside at 2:30AM, a slight drizzle falling, Jane remarked “I’ve never seen anyone pick up a bottle with their anus, and then drink from it. And I liked it.” Yep, pretty much. Nothings shocking, but thankfully its entertaining. We could’ve stayed until closing, but the coach was turning back into a pumpkin, we’d already seen the ball(s), and it was time to peace out.

Neal and Earl.jpg Neal and Andy.jpg Rose Wood.jpg Taylor Mac.jpg unisex salon.jpg

See the full gallery here (some images NSFW).

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