Lucid Culture


Witches in Bikinis at Kenny’s Castaways, NYC 7/10/08

This band is great fun. No one in New York is doing anything remotely like what Witches in Bikinis are doing. Unlike what you might be led to believe from a glance at their myspace, their show is a pretty standard rock band performance rather than a theatrical piece or cabaret act. Although the witches – there are seven of them, all in their individual color-coded bikinis with matching colored wigs – all dance and sing and perform a pretty tightly choreographed set, they basically hit you with one song after another. Many of them are very funny. Witches in Bikinis’ shtick is poking fun at all things monster, ghostly and ghoulish, from bad horror movies to alien invasions to stalkers. While kitsch is what they’re making fun of, this isn’t a kitschy group. Clearly, they’re having fun taking potshots at their targets. Even if some of them are a little obvious, it’s still a good time.


Behind the witches, the all-male backing trio turned in a competent performance which ran from straight-up meat-and-potatoes bar-band rock to more satirical fare, spoofing everything from surf music to 60s girl-group pop to heavy metal. They opened with the pretty self-explanatory Video Vixen Vampire, which contained a prominent musical quote from some popular 80s top 40 power ballad which for some reason (maybe because it was so bad) slips the mind. Alien Surfer Babes began with a parody of the drums from Wipeout. Mermaids in Outer Space featured predictably cheesy, amusingly faux-haunting roller-rink organ. The percussive Jennifer of the Jungle – “getting tired of the wilderness” – was one of the high points of the early numbers.


The best stuff came toward the end of the show. Calling King Kong was a very funny heavy metal spoof (the girl likes her men big and stupid). A faux-operatic, organ-driven, carnivalesque number about a vampire was equally good, as was the spot-on parody Horror Movie Chicks (“Does she pick up the phone? NOOO! Does she call 911? NOOOO!”). Throughout the set, it was obvious that everybody onstage were enjoying themselves: when the witches weren’t singing, they were all grinning and whispering at each other, probably saying something along the lines of, “I can’t believe how silly some of this is, but I’m having a blast up here.” With the estimable Freddie Katz taking a break from playing sizzling lead guitar in Patti Rothberg’s band to run sound for the show, the sonics in the room were superb.


And a word about the witches’ general pulchritude: after all, let’s get real, this band would not exist if they didn’t look good in their bikinis. But these are New York witches: none of them have that vapid, Barbie doll El Lay look. And more importantly, it doesn’t appear that any of them have ever seen a plastic surgeon (on a professional basis, anyway), suffer from anorexia or silicone poisoning. What these witches look like is your typical bunch of attractive, athletic New York women that you might run into at yoga, or taking a brisk run through Prospect Park on a Sunday afternoon. You go, girls. Witches in Bikinis play the Knitting Factory on August 1 at 8:45 PM.

July 11, 2008 - Posted by | Live Events, Music, New York City, Reviews

1 Comment »

  1. I am still try to get the video of this post. anyone know where i can watch highlights for free.

    Comment by Dewey Pfieffer | February 6, 2013 | Reply

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