When it comes to Halloween haps (there are so many this year, it truly is frightening!), nothing beats a house party. Better still, a haunted house party. Lincoln Heights arts and music hub, HM (Historical Monument) 157 has always had a creepy-cool vibe, and on Saturday night, the old house got Crampy too.
The Human Flys, a Cramps tribute band led by sinewy singer Jack Atlantis offered the legendary spookabilly band's gravest hits for a crowd of ghoulish gals and blood-sucker boys… and some people in costume too.
We've known Atlantis since he was a stage staple at our favorite '90's glamorama, Club Makeup, which filled the El Rey theatre every month with glitter-drenched rockers, drag queens and lusty looky-loos (the club was featured on E! channel's heavily repeated “Hollywood Nights” specials). Jack did a mean David Bowie and a hypnotizing Peter Murphy at the club's themed nights paying tribute to these enigmatic figures.
Saturday, his channeling of Lux Interior may have been even more spell-binding. Anyone lucky enough to have seen The Cramps' live, knows that Interior was one of the most captivating performers ever; flailing, stomping, humping and basically making use of every inch of the stage, often in stiletto pumps!
Atlantis didn't don heels — or give into the many repeated zombie-girl requests to “get naked”– but he did offer costume changes, including a shirtless and shiny vinyl pants ensemble that was very Lux. His vox, complete with melodic hoots and shrieks, were spot-on, and while sipping a black cat wine bottle, he plowed through hits such as “Goo-Goo Muck,” “Garbage Man” and “I Was A Teenage Werewolf” with potent and boozy zeal.
The band may have been missing Poison Ivy on the axe, but it did have a strong female drummer, and two dancers took the stage for some additional rhythm-making and vixen-ish dance antics.
Before Lux passed away, Cramps shows in LA were a Halloween tradition (definitely for Nightranger!). This may be the closest we can get to the real thing. And you've got one more chance to Fly this week. The band been added to the lineup at the Echo this Thursday, which includes The Insect Surfers and The Raw Power Rangers, a Stooges cover band featuring Don Bolles (who deejayed HM) on drums.
Bolles' other cover band, The Earwigs (a nightmarish take on Alice Cooper) and the zany-fun funk rock of Quasar and the Bamboozled, along with “Living Dead Girl” fire grinds from The Nautch Conspiracy, and a performance by emcee Andrew Abelson and pal Jean Spinosa (Wig Out!), rounded out the mad monster party at HM 157. Halloween night, they'll have a non-musical, kid-geared haunted house for trick or treaters.
The space offers a wealth of amusements year round (live music, potlucks and Church of Fashion gatherings). Check here for info on upcoming events.