Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Concert Review: Cudzoo & the Fagettes at Arlene’s, NYC 2/26/10

It’s hard to imagine a New York band right now who are more fun than than Cudzoo & the Fagettes. As one of the band members said Friday night at Arlene’s, it may have been snowy outside but it sure was hot inside. This group really pulls out all the stops, putting on a fullscale spectacle. While a screen was being set up in the corner, the mic stands each stood erect between a pair of big pink balloons. Juvenile as the visual was, it was impossible not to laugh. Meanwhile, a pretty girl wandered through the crowd handing out free raffle tickets (more on that later).

Dressed in matching pink sequined dresses, the band’s three frontwomen – the fearlessly bodacious E-Bomb and her cohorts J-Train and Mamrie – took the stage while a montage of old newsreel footage, complete with blaring, martial orchestral music, played on the screen. A voiceover began: “The world’s a fucked up place. War in the Middle East. A recession with no end in sight. Global warming. Wife-swapping. Very large, unhealthy fast-food portions.” Luckily, Cudzoo, “those sassy, sashaying little sweethearts out of Astoria, Queens” had arrived to spread their “brand of glitter and whiskey fun.” All of a sudden, their album – which we reviewed last year – started to make perfect sense. Funny as it is, it’s a soundtrack: the experience isn’t complete without the show.

Their first song bitchslapped sorority girl-style conspicuous consumption: the ditz doesn’t want her parents to know that a “dirty Mexican” knocked her up, but when she gets the abortion she gets the fetus goldplated and suddenly it’s bling. J-Train sang the hilariously weird You Beat the Shit Out of My Heart, which may or may not be a cautionary tale about S&M. A new one, Walk of Shame was even funnier, a girl waking up with poo-poo mouth, gum in her hair and having to fight strollers on the sidewalk in order to get home incognito. Another new one about the pros and cons of friends with benefits was their one semi-thoughtful number; they also did tributes to fingerfucking, sleeping with a guy’s siblings, and a rapidfire hip-hop song about breasts on the subway. That one’s open to audience participation – if you can come up with a rhyming couplet about seeing boobs on the train, bring it to the next Cudzoo show.

The grand prize winner of the raffle was a guy. He sent his girlfriend, Jenny, up to collect her prize. The band leered at her, sat her down onstage and proceeded to give her everything but a lap dance (Mamrie nibbled her ear lasciviously) while serenading her with a newly lesbian version of Drummer Boy, E-Bomb’s come-on to her favorite kind of musician. Jenny took it all bravely but the second the song was over, she bolted (Jenny’s boyfriend may also be single now). Meanwhile, the “drunkest working band in New York City,” the Fagettes stood deadpan behind the action, doing their lo-budget garage-pop and pseudo-Ramones thing and staying out of the way. That seems to be what they’re supposed to do. Actually, bassist Lorenzo Potenzo, platinum-haired drummer Dr. Eviller and the guitarist didn’t look drunk – but the front line did, particularly E-Bomb, who’d obviously been pregaming.

They closed with a phony country song, a girl getting revenge on her ex by blogging about his “tiny penis and lack of class,” and then the self-explanatory punk-pop My Boyfriend’s Got a Boyfriend. Before they left the stage, they fired off a couple of tubes of glitter into the crowd. The front rows were cannon fodder: they didn’t have a prayer.  By now it was a little after one in the morning –  the crowd screamed for an encore but didn’t get one. We’ll leave it to the Village Voice to talk about how these women speak truth to power about sexual politics – what’s important is that last night, Cudzoo got the whole house laughing, Democrats and wrong-thinkers alike.

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February 27, 2010 Posted by | concert, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

CD Review: Cudzoo & the Faggettes – The Prettiest Girls with the Filthiest Mouths

Truth in advertising. Cudzoo & the Faggettes aren’t bad looking, and they seem to be on a mission to offend everyone within earshot. They’ve got more in common with the nastiest gangsta rap you can imagine, rather than the 60s girl-group pop they imitate (or parody) on their debut cd. This project seems to be the brainchild of one E-Bomb AKA Erin McCarson, an actress with a background in underground theatre. Unsurprisingly, a lot of the songs here seem like they were written to be part of a larger skit – again, like hip-hop. The band’s other frontwomen Jess “J-Train” Bartley and Mamrie “Mame-Town” Hart join her singing over a decent facsimile of the Shangri-La’s with a little glamrock thrown in. Most of their songs are about sex – they are absolutely obsessed with it. This isn’t the best album of the year but it is one of the funniest.

Their pro-choice song is in-your-face, nasty and about as far from politically correct as you can get – Bodies by the Pistols has nothing on this. When E-Bomb can’t snag the guy she wants, she does his whole family instead. If the lyrics are to be taken on face value (yeah, right), she seems to have a thing for drummers. Mame-Town contributes a hilarious number about being dumped by a cheater who then gets married in seconds flat – it’s got to be the only song that’s ever tried to make a rhyme with “commitment” and “eat a dick then.” There’s also a bizarre number about getting picked by a S&M weirdo (and liking it), a song about fingerfucking, and a surprisingly straight-up pop tune that winds up the album. And a song about their favorite hairstyle –  what the B-52s did for the bouffant, Cudzoo would like to do for the French braid. It’s retro and it’s a lot of fun. The band doesn’t seem to be playing out much – unsurprising, since they’re probably busy with plays and shoots (and guys) – watch this space for upcoming shows.

August 17, 2009 Posted by | Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments