Totally Doin’ It with Art and Emily: Rock for Pussy
On Friday, First Avenue hosted “Rebel Rebel: Rock for Pussy VI,” an annual David Bowie tribute concert/fundraiser for the kitties at the Minnesota Valley Humane Society, put together by The Current’s Mary Lucia.
Well, at least the money went to help cats. That’s something, right?
Ok, maybe I shouldn’t be quite that harsh. When you sell something as a David Bowie tribute, those are some pretty big, androgynous, fascist-curious shoes to fill. Plus, Emily had seen it last year and wouldn’t shut up about had mentioned how much she liked it for the past four months. Let’s just say there was a lot of hype to live up to.
And, while maybe it didn’t toss the baby that is my brain in the air and indifferently walk away with awesomeness, I was not unentertained. But I can’t bring myself to say the music was anything but passable—which was just fine by me. The one criticism of the music I will make—and this is totally unwarranted and I know I could never in a million years do better—is regarding the first song: Golden Years. There’s this background part that goes “wah wah wah,” and in the original it is cool, smooth, and groovy. HOWEVER, the backup singers at this event sounded more like a sad trombone. It was ok though; I found it amusing.
But what really shrink-wrapped my wang in spandex was everything ancillary to the music. Most notably, the textbook case study in Stuff White People Like #67: standing still at concerts. Seriously, this is David Bowie you guys. It’s hard not to get down to David Bowie, no matter how simply adequate the cover. I realize it’s $7.75 plus tip for a Red Stripe, but it’s a big Red Stripe. Get drunk and have fun, damnit.
I was also amused by the two The Current DJs who participated in the actual music. Mark Wheat and his Amazing Larry King Jumping Shoulders came on and did the two spoken lines in the beginning of Modern Love, which was wonderful—they got an actual British man to do a British accent. We wouldn’t have been fooled! And then David Campbell came out and sang a whole song—a song I can’t for the life of me remember, probably because I couldn’t stop thinking how much he looked like Dick Tremayne from Twin Peaks:
I happened upon Rock for Pussy last year when poking around First Avenue’s website. I’d never heard of it (or most of the featured performers for that matter), but David Bowie AND helping cats? That sounded like a recipe for success to me.
Plus, at six dollars a ticket, I figured the worst-case scenario would be watching a mediocre show and donating a few dollars to kitties (and I LOVE kitties!), so I grabbed my friend Stephanie and heading off I went to rock. For pussy.
And it was fantastic. Drag queens, androgyny, and all my Bowie favorites (with the notable exception of “Under Pressure,” but I suppose it would be hard to find someone able to pull off Freddie Mercury) plus a Minnesota Valley Humane Society info table staffed by a really dreamy guy all the women at the concert were blatantly ogling with pictures of adorable cats available for adoption.
And by my standards, that’s a great night. So this year, I snapped up tickets right away and rounded up some friends to go with me.
And then . . . I got a little overserved. Or didn’t eat enough that day. Or drank too fast. Or whatever excuse I’m using at the moment.
Point is, I got a little ridiculous, and I’m not sure I really soaked in enough of the concert to give it a proper review. (Very professional of me for our debut column, right?)
What I can say is that while the performances weren’t nearly as good as last year (there was this sassy redhead who did a lot of the singing last year who seemed to be missing), but I did do a LOT of very joyful dancing, particularly to “Modern Love,” and I helped some cats, both of which are good things.
Also, I distinctly remember that Labyrinth was playing in the background. You don’t forget spandex-encased Bowie crotch no matter how much you drink.
So I think I can definitely say, based on what I saw/what I can remember, Rock for Pussy is a solid night of good cat-helping fun, and I plan on being back next year. Except sober.