Friday, July 5, 2013

Live Review: Richard Cheese & Lounge Against the Machine - Bowery Ballroom - July 3rd, 2013

Stolen Clip Art.
From the opening chords of “Too Drunk to Fuck” by the Dead Kennedys, smoothly transitioning into the ever catchy chorus from Nine Inch Nails, “I want to fuck you like an animal” in the most relaxed lounge way possible, and even for good measure, Khia’s “My Neck, My Back (lick my pussy and my crack),” Richard Cheese was the consummate professional. A lounge-y, well dressed, vulgar as fuck, lounging against the machine…professional.

He also donned the teacher cap, and taught the relatively middle aged, sold out, audience at Bowery Ballroom that the power of pussy comes in three’s—leading a chant of Prince’s “Pussy Control,” holding the mic out to, yes, “pussy-pussy-pussycontrooooooooool.” That’s a new jam on his latest release, The Royal Baby Album.
The day before Independence Day should ALWAYS be riddled with satire, laughs, too much booze, and the ultimate party host. And, really, what’s more American than all of that?

It seems like every single time Richard Cheese has been in town; I haven’t been able to go. This show seems like the kind of commodity that happens all the time in NYC, but not as often in other parts of the world. It’s why I love the ENDLESS options of living in NYC, but somehow, I haven’t been able to put it together until THIS TOUR. After eight long years, I finally got to see the Richard Cheese and the Lounge Against the Machine stage show!? Sardonic satire at it’s finest. Oh, Lordy what a treat!!

I remember back in dorm life (sigh…) this was some of the funniest shit ever. And, to me, a middle-aged white guy singing the most vulgar and hardcore pop songs from all eras will never cease to lose its amusement, or run its course. The one thing I didn’t think about, and I put this in my head by reading a few reviews prior to the show, will it over saturate itself during the show?

I typically enjoy a Richard Cheese laugh a couple tunes at a time, laugh, laugh some more, and then mosey my way onto something else. It’s always a treat to play for friends that haven’t heard it at the end of a party or something. I haven’t really made it a habit to listen to an ENTIRE Richard Cheese album in one sitting. Some of the reviews, albeit I randomly was reading them off Ticketmaster, fancied the idea that these cheesy lounge songs get old after two hours. Bah humbug!?

I didn’t really have that problem.

Musically, the show carries itself well enough, but what makes the show special is the ability Cheese has to ham it up with the audience. The Richard Cheese show is pretty much a comedy show. Obviously, it’s going to be hilarious, and that’s the point, but one way to transcend the songs and keep everything seamless, is an element of working a room and showmanship you really see out of standup comedians. This is the KEY element!

He had a wireless microphone and would walk around the room at his heart’s desire (he even went all the way up in the balcony) and mock people, banter, make jokes, do stupid shit, and for lack of a fancier team…entertain the masses. At one point, he even had everyone go on Twitter, and the facilitated a Tweeting contest!? Best Tweet including Richard Cheese would win a pretty ambitious music package from the band, including all their albums and so on and so forth. 
There were about 100 chairs (up front) at Bowery Ballroom, and sitting in the chairs, more or less meant you were in the show. Most of the front row was heckled on end, by name, the entire show. This particular show, some chick in the front row named Debbie was berated endlessly to the amusement of…well…seemingly everybody. Even Debbie. Her reward? She got to be the “Baby Got Back” dancer. To answer your question…yes.
The shtick is pretty predictable, yet impossible not to like. There were four jacket changes, from the neat and tidy tux, to the martini jacket, to the tiger stripped jacket and eventually back to the regular tux. Jazz hands. Self-depreciating humor by the truckload. Lots of talk about drinking. Enough cock jokes to capsize an Apatow or Todd Phillips screenplay. Yet, everything keeps moving right along, as Cheese continued to crank out the "hits." He pretty much played everything I wanted to hear, and made me laugh as much as I wanted to laugh..if that makes sense. For Bowery $35 dollars is an expensive show, but I can’t imagine getting more for my money anywhere else. It’s just an lovely evening of vulgar lounge music!? Like Sinatra on molly! I mean, Sinatra was probably on his generation's molly, but you get the point. 

It's all as delicious as a big block of Dick Cheese. 

Zerfas' Top 5 Richard Cheese Cuts:
5.     Gimme That Nutt – Easy-E (New addition. Holy shit I was on the floor)

(87.7% accuracy. Didn’t write it down, I was too drunk (to setlist?), and having too much fun. Order is askew, but for the most part this is how it went down. I may have missed a song or two. I don’t remember “Rape Me” or “Billy Jean” which are Cheese staples. Didn’t mean they didn’t happen!? I’m 97% sure they didn’t though.)

Too Drunk to Fuck (Dead Kennedys)
Closer (Nine Inch Nails)
Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 (Pink Floyd)
We Are Young (Fun.)
Brass Monkey (Beastie Boys)
Beastie Boys Medley (mostly turned into him saying Beastie Boys titles to Lounge Music. Still Funny.)
Aqua Teen Hunger Force Theme (audience request)
Tik Tok (Ke$ha)
Three’s a Company Theme
Buddy Holly (Weezer)
Gin and Juice (Snoop Dogg)
Like a G6 (Far East Movement)
Ice Ice Baby (Vanilla Ice)
Chop Suey (Sytem of the Down)
Sponge Bob Square Pants Theme
Gimme That Nutt (Easy-E)
You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC)
Hash Pipe (Weezer)
Pussy Control (Prince)
Down With the Sickness (Disturbed)
Baby Got Back (Sir Mix-a-Lot)
Fight for your Right (Beastie Boys)
My Neck, My Back (Khia)
Creep (Radiohead)

1 comment:

  1. Slow down, I'm gonna spurt! GAAAAGHHT! Ahhp, sorry.