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Hot! Pink! Plywood!

The opening at 5IFTYBUCKS GALLERY for “I’m in This Show,” a group exhibit of hot new local art curated by ROLO CASTILLO and his new bride, TERRY TAYLOR CASTILLO, sizzled in more ways than one — there was no air conditioning. Fortunately, there were plenty of Bohemias for the perspiring arterati. Adding to the Saturday-night fever were the rubber-burning rhythms of THE EYESHADOWS and CAPTAIN ZERO’S REVENGE with 5 DEGREES OF SOUL. Bad Boy artist EMMERIC KONRAD was on hand with his entry, the gleefully repulsive painting Little Baby Asshole, while Los 4’s patriarch FRANK ROMERO jovially inquired, “Did I make everybody mad?” in reference to his oil paintings Pink Nude and Chi Chis, in which the private parts were so pronounced that one visitor caustically termed the pieces “The Vagina Monologues.” SHARON DABNEY took numerous curtain calls for her rave creation, a 3-D vision of glittering flowers fashioned from her shredded divorce documents. “It’s fabulous,” was the reaction of painter CAMILLE ROSE GARCIA, who took time off from her own acclaimed show at Merry Karnowsky Gallery to pop in for a peek. RICHARD GODFREY, cheerfully attired in cowboy grunge, waxed eloquent over his installation, Lamp, a lighting fixture with a paint-can base and 1940s shade mounted on a piece of plywood, while JIM FITTIPALDI, fresh from Bedlam (his gallery), modestly accepted praise for his stunning androgynous nude. The big disappointment was that THE BRAT, scheduled for a comeback concert, was forced to cancel due to the sudden death of drummer Mark Stewart. But the band promises to keep on going.

—Mary Beth Crain

DEEP DISH

Figures a band who call themselves THE GOSSIP (pictured) would have great word of mouth, getting an SRO turnout for their show at the KNITTING FACTORY with HYPNOTWIST and ERASE ERRATA. The trio — vocalist BETH DITTO, guitarist NATHAN HOWDESHELL and the Mo Tucker–like drummer KATHI MENDOCHA — are on tour promoting their raw, sloppy and lots-of-fun new CD, That’s Not What I Heard. But the show is all about Beth, a pint-’n’-plus-size dynamo with a voice reminiscent of early Suzi Quatro. Barefoot, wearing a stretched-out black bra and a denim miniskirt held together with safety pins, Beth boogalooed around the stage like a cross between Lux Interior and a punky-looking evangelist, belting out Gossip hits like “Where the Girls Are” and “Got Body if Ya Want It.” She enticed the audience into call-and-response sing-alongs, and got ’em dancing so hard that the floor was actually shaking. Rocking out and screaming along were SHAWNA KENNY of I Was a Teenage Dominatrix, members of the band THREE DOLLAR PUTA, man-about-town CLINT CATALYST with recent San Francisco transplant MICHELLE TEA, and filmmakers JACQ. LESKO and BETHANY WARDE LOWE, who just wrapped their documentary Kiss My Grits: The Herstory of Women in Punk and Hard Rock, which features the Gossip right alongside Hole, Sleater-Kinney, Heart, PJ Harvey and the B-52’s. Rumor has it that the Gossip are getting eyeballed by major record labels — not surprising for a combo that inspired conservatively dressed young women to jump up onstage, strip down to their bras and do the wild Watusi. Talk about hearing it through the grapevine.

—Pleasant Gehman

MAKE THE MUSIC GO KA-CHING!

Part b-boy/girl bazaar and part DJ showdown, the RITUAL PROTOTYPE expo — organized by Ritual Events co-founders JED WEXLER and PATRICK COURRIELCHE — was both an all-day fashion stop and a warm-up for folks on their way to Area: One. Ravers, urban cowboys, Power Puff doll–toting mommies and one rather scary Krusty-the-Klown-meets-George-Clinton clone haggled their way through EL REY, which was filled wall-to-wall with local indie clothing labels touting club gear and accessories, such as tennies from DC Shoes, faux fur vests by Sinister, and T-shirts with wink-wink slogans like “Estar Guars” by NaCo. For a minute, we thought we were at the Beverly Center’s after-Christmas sale, as stampeding mall rats swarmed the Fine stall grabbing shimmery undies. The more serious shoppers were perusing artworks by SHEPARD FAIREY, P-NUT, SPAZZ and DAVE KINSEY, although we suspect that the posters of Sid Vicious and Ozzy weren’t going to be the best-sellers of the day. Providing the soundtrack for the big spenders were nearly a dozen spinners, such as local TONY WATSON, New York’s DJ MKL, KCRW’s GARTH TRINIDAD, and DJ DUSK, who finally got the rather sparse dance floor filled with human rubber bands poppin’ and lockin’ at breakneck speed. All eyes were on KIM HILL, however, as the former Black Eyed Peas singer brought everyone to a halt with her no-nonsense soul. Shop till you pop-lock!

—Siran Babayan

BE HAIR NOW

Everyone’s got those “blackmail photos” from some embarrassing era stashed away, but pity the poor fellow, clad in spandex, spouting passionate declarations such as “Punk sucks — heavy metal rules!,” his gaudy getup and drunken rants forever immortalized for all the world to laugh at in HEAVY METAL PARKING LOT, the much-celebrated underground short filmed outside a 1986 Judas Priest concert in Maryland. Filmmakers JOHN HEYN and JEFF KRULIK marked the 15th anniversary of the white-trash cult fave — one of the most bootlegged videos ever — with a screening at the KNITTING FACTORY, which attracted members of the STREET WALKIN’ CHEETAHS as well as nu-metal video director NATHAN COX, performance-art tart JANET AUSTIN, Hole’s ERIC ERLANDSON and some guy who was actually in the film. Other, less interesting shorts, including Neil Diamond Parking Lot and Raver Bathroom, were also screened, but it was Flavor of the Week, the video that re-enacts scenes from HMPL for the decidedly un-metal band American Hi-Fi that got the biggest reaction: loud booing. And if that wasn’t enough aggro-attitude for the rawkin eve, a member of NUDIST PRIEST was kicked out of the club after allegedly burning the set list of the hesher cover band IRON IKON (made up of members of Club Makeup’s GUTTER GANGSTERS). But what’s a metal show without a little pyromania?

—Lina Lecaro

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