Dr. Ogata's International Danger Spots; Squeezebox Goodbye Parties; GBH Comes to CentroFly, Satanicide to Brownies; New Yorker Fest
For example, over in Sri Lanka, the government has agreed to a tenuous cease-fire with a group of separatists called the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam, who claim ownership of the northern Jaffna Peninsula. The two sides have been fighting for 18 years, with the government of Norway trying to settle things on behalf of the European Union. (That's not to mention the gangs of Sri Lankan ex-military thugs who recently crashed the concert of a popular Indian singer with hand grenades. Ouch!)
After hearing how bad stuff is in other countries, you'll be reminded how relatively chill things are in America with drinks and a reception. The lecture begins at 6:30 p.m.; tickets are $10.
?Speaking of chill things in America, gay (yet straight-friendly) punk and glam had a home for the past seven years in Squeezebox, the Friday night party at Don Hill's that featured transsexual DJ Miss Guy, backing band the Toilet Boys, MC Mistress Formika and Wayne/Jayne County. Together with Fraggle Rock, which still takes place Saturdays at Meow Mix (269 Houston St. at Suffolk St., 254-0688), Squeezebox perpetuated a heavenly scene: you could show up in a dress, get drunk courtesy of rich, respectful gay guys, and go home with a straight girl. Or vice versa. Or vice versa versa.
Now Squeezebox is shutting down, but not before sponsoring two parties, one Wednesday at Spa (76 E. 13th St. betw. B'way & 4th Ave., 338-1060), and the final event Friday at Don Hill's (511 Greenwich St. at Spring St., 219-2850). Spa, which is sure to have the Door Queen out there checking IDs and turning away random folks, brings in the drummer and singer from cult 70s girly act the Runaways to play with Gina and Squid from the Lunachicks. That'll be interesting?you can see how these Runaways have aged compared to the two famous ones, Lita Ford and Joan Jett.
The Don Hill's party has cheaper drinks and bigger attractions, namely Debbie Harry and Jesse Malin, who will contribute two sets of music with the rotating Squeezebox band. Both shows will have photographs: Alexander Thompson presents pictures of Squeezebox scenesters at Spa and Bob Gruen shows images from the Max's Kansas City/CBGB days at Don Hill's. It's nice to see some old people go out with class; entry is $20 for both parties.
?GBH?not the date-rape drug, which I try to stay away from?comes to CentroFly (45 W. 21st St., betw. 6th & 7th Aves., 627-7770) this Friday to celebrate its three-year anniversary as a primo name in house music. Like many a good acronym, it stands for different things depending on whom you ask ("Great British House," "God Bless House," "Grievous Bodily Harm"?no wait, that's the drug), but GBH is always a safe indicator of processed tunes with an utz-utz beat.
Guaranteed at some point in the night the tempo at CentroFly will double and redouble and redouble, and then there'll be an exploding noise followed by "Celebrate and dance for free," leading into that Daft Punk song. But that's why you go to hear house music?it's reliable. Guest DJs Ashley Beedle and Disciple are featured; CentroFly itself is in Tramps' old location, a big place with tripped-out interior design and a lounge and bar for those who tire of the utz-utz barrage. Admission is $20, but it might be cheaper if you call 539-3916 in advance.
?On the other end of Friday night, glam-rock revivalists Satanicide (who claim not to have taken their name from a Simpsons episode) show up at Brownies (169 Ave. A, betw. 10th & 11th Sts., 420-8392) at 11 p.m., and just like it says on their demo CD, "Never has so much cock graced a single stage!"
"That's one of our many slogans," claims singer Delvin Mayhem, who appears on the back of the demo with a colored contact in one eye, a bandanna, a skull ring and a goatee. "You know, basically, 'We Rock.' That's what we aim to do and that's what we do each show. The most important thing in the band is to just rock really hard."
Satanicide's demo is a sampler of what will be available on their forthcoming self-financed debut, and it's disturbingly good. "We Rock" and "Jersey Nights" have hooks that the 80s somehow passed over, and the reworking of the theme from Titanic as a Warrant-style anthem brings it all home.
"At first when I heard [the Titanic song] I thought, 'Oh my god, that would make the most amazing heavy metal ballad,' but I wasn't sure if I could sing it. Then I sang the chorus and I realized it sounded just like the Scorpions and I thought, 'All right, we gotta do it.'"
Try if you can to get a Satanicide picture?the band is moving toward more serious press images and it might become difficult to get the currently circulating shot of Delvin Mayhem, Aleister Cradley, the Baron Klaus von Goaten and Sloth Vader. That's the drummer: Sloth Vader.
Woody Allen's been pretty cool lately. Since marrying his daughter in 1997, he's made a spate of movies (Celebrity, Sweet and Lowdown, Small Time Crooks) that weren't total disasters and he continues to attract high-profile talent?Helen Hunt and Elizabeth Berkley grace this summer's Curse of the Jade Scorpion. (There was that nasty situation last Thursday, when Woody wised up and sued the business partner who had been ripping him off since 1993, but he's been through worse, and you know he'll keep on.)
This Saturday, Allen will get the chance to address his recent issues when he's interviewed live by New Yorker editor David Remnick. It's part of the New Yorker Festival, which was a 75th-anniversary party last year but is repeating this weekend in a very successful bid for corporate sponsors. Woody will be interviewed at the Celeste Bartos Forum of the New York Public Library (42nd St., betw. 5th & 6th Aves., 877-847-8693) at 3 p.m.; other topics may include his currently filming "Spring Project" with Tea Leoni and Tiffani (no Amber) Thiessen, the creative process, and sex with his china.
Been waiting to use that one. It's what diminutive Puerto Rican girls call diminutive Asian girls. Word is born.
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