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Sisters Lolita and Matronic Explain It All for You

2005-01-31 - 11:16 a.m.

Nothing quite like writing a diary entry while trying to write a presentation on Milton's "On the Morning of Christ's Nativity" at the same time. If I start writing about the differences between hymns and odes on this page (or, for that matter, if I start talking about The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in class) you'll know that I've lost it.

However, I will say that the title of my presentation is "The Satanic Verses, or What Do John Milton, Tina Turner, and The Devil Have in Common?" Here's hoping my Milton professor has a sense of whimsy.

As I mentioned yesterday, last night was the Scissor Sisters show in San Francisco. I first saw Scissor Sisters at SXSW, the big huge majorly important music festival held every year in Austin, where budding bands hope to get themselves noticed and signed for major distribution, or at least written up well in one of the music mags. Scissor Sisters were my favorite band on what was unquestionably the funnest night of the fest, an evening at Stubb's BBQ featuring, along with the Sisters, The B-52s and Junior Senior. Between these three bands, the evening was absolutely fabulous in every sense, especially in the sense that it was very, very gay.

How gay? Well, first of all, the lead singer of Scissor Sisters in Jake Shears, who before the show was wandering around wearing overalls cut to his hips. Oh, and sandals. Nothing else. It was all I could do not to shove my hands down those pants, or at least take a look. As if that weren't enough, he had on a red and white striped floor length jacket, while his partner in crime and in stage sexiness, Ana Matronic, was dressed in a hair-fringe dress like the one worn by Hedwig at the end of "Wig in a Box" (if you don't know what I'm talking about, go to the video store right now, rent a film called Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and thank me later). They went on to play music that blended together glam, disco, and a little bit of punk. If they had unraveled a rainbow flag and gone into a rock rendition of "Over the Rainbow," it could not have been more gay.

Or so I thought.

I went into the city last night with my favorite delicious Latina here at Berkeley, hoping that a couple of Aleve would soothe my back enough for me to get my groove on. Her parking karma was in full effect--we found a spot less than two blocks from the Warfield. When we got inside, I made a quick pit stop by the merch table to get a tour shirt (Am I wearing it right now? Do you know me at all?) and then headed to the floor, where not only did I manage to get within a few feet of the stage, but I got the chance to use the word "festoon."

Because the boys around me were festooned. Granted, not all of them were festooned, but there was a gaggle of boys ahead of me decked out in mesh, leather, face paint, and feathers. My favorite one had a mesh shirt, an ice-blue feather boa, and a pair of stripey pants that rank among the coolest I've ever encountered. There was also a boy fully punked out with a mohawk over a foot high, which would have been the height of fabulosity had he not been over six feet tall already and had he not maneuvered himself right in front of us just before the start of the show. Not only was he blocking our view, but his hair kept sticking to our lip gloss, which is, just so you know, an extremely gross experience.

Even he, however, had to bow down to a pair of queens whose appearance assured that the night would achieve the highest level of fabulosity. I am speaking, of course, of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. I saw the Sisters for the first time in Margaret Cho's I'm the One that I Want, and seeing them there made me feel that I had truly arrived. More than sourdough bread, more than driving over the Golden Gate Bridge: the Sisters made me realize that I had, indeed, arrived.

The opening act was a San Francisco local, who would not have been so bad if it weren't for the fact that he was accompanied by the worst back-up dancers ever. How bad were they? Well, for one thing, they were all white, and already Madonna and Janet Jackson, were they to be reading this, would be all "Aww, HELL no!" They also pretty much stuck to some variation of the robot. Dudes, I am a much better dancer than that, and I have to lug my big heavy ass onto the dance floor every time. It was so sad. However, I applauded. There was this one guy who heckled, and I really wanted to deck the son of a bitch, because no matter how bad the opening act is--and believe you me, I have seen some goddamn awful opening bands in my day--being an asshole will not bring the main attraction on any faster. Although, I will say, any performer who writes a song with lyrics that go "Everybody get on the floor. Everybody wanna uh uh uh" needs to check himself, because he has indeed wrecked himself. Trust. The DJ who played during the intervals, however, was really fucking cool.

Then Scissor Sisters came out, and folks, it was all over. First of all, they had lowered the curtain so that lights from behind the stage could cast their shadows onto the curtain before the show started. If that is not a diva entrance, I don't know what is. As the curtain rised, you see Jake Shears in a tank top and Ana Matronic in a silver go-go gown, and when they launch into Laura you know it's all over. What continued from there on out, as I danced my cares away to pretty much every song on the album and a highly amusing cover of Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out" was a succession of instances where I said, "This is the gayest moment of my life" only to say a few minutes later, "No, THIS is the gayest moment of my life." In between songs, Ana Matronic told tall tales about living in San Francisco and going to a circuit party where she wound up in the Ladies Lounge hanging out with a bunch of fierce drag divas. I think it reached a pinnacle when I found myself next to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence while the band launched into a song dedicated to all the gender fuckers out there, a little ditty by the name of "Filthy/Gorgeous," possibly my favorite song on the album. As promised, Scissor Sister has taken me to church, and as Ana Matronic said, that night, each and every one of us was a Scissor Sisters.

After the show, I introduced myself to Sister Lolita of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, feeling so honored to have been able to enjoy the show with them. Another Sister, being quite drunk at the time, draped herself on me so that I could help her out of the theater. Truly, I had been blessed.

This night helped me realize that dancing around and having a good time cures far more ills than bed rest, at least for me. It stiffened my resolve to go out dancing far more often this year.

Praise be to all sisters everywhere, for such divine inspiration.

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previous - next

The End - 2005-02-11
Let's Go on With the Show - 2005-01-30
The Curse, and This Bee's a Keeper - 2005-02-01
Sisters Lolita and Matronic Explain It All for You - 2005-01-31
Cowboys and Medievalists - 2005-01-30

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