Thursday, 30 November 2017

Lobotomy Room at Fontaine's DJ Set List 24 November 2017

From the Facebook events page:

Attention late night diversion seekers! Revel in sleaze, voodoo and rock’n’roll - when incredibly strange dance party Lobotomy Room returns to the Polynesian-style basement Bamboo Lounge of Dalston’s most unique nite spot Fontaine’s! Friday 24 November 2017!

Lobotomy Room! Where sin lives! A punkabilly booze party! Sensual and depraved! A spectacle of decadence! Bad Music for Bad People! A Mondo Trasho evening of Beat, Beat Beatsville Beatnik Rock’n’Roll! Rockabilly Psychosis! Wailing Rhythm and Blues! Twisted Tittyshakers! Punk! White Trash Rockers! Kitsch! Exotica! Think John Waters soundtracks, or Songs the Cramps Taught Us, hosted by Graham Russell (of Dr Sketchy and Cockabilly notoriety). Expect desperate stabs from the jukebox jungle! Savage rhythms to make you writhe and rock! Grainy black-and-white vintage erotica projected on the big screen all night for your adult viewing pleasure!

Admission: gratuit - that’s French for FREE!

Lobotomy Room: Faster. Further. Filthier.

It’s sleazy. It’s grubby. It’s trashy - you’ll love it!

A tawdry good time guaranteed!

Not that there's been a public outcry, but I’m trying to ease my way back into blogging regularly again after a lengthy hiatus. Stopping certainly wasn’t by choice! I’ve never stopped jotting-down my Lobotomy Room set lists from behind the Bamboo Lounge's DJ booth – I’ve just never got around to posting them. There have been a few calamities preventing me in recent months. At first the main issue was damned Photobucket. For the first several years of this blog (when I was at my most prolific), I used the photo-sharing website Photobucket to upload pics. If you’re a millennial or non-blogger, you might well have never even heard of Photobucket. They were an obligatory site in the Myspace era! Trust me, I now wish I'd never heard of Photobucket either. Plenty of people still use it for blogging or sharing photos on sites like Amazon and eBay. At first Photobucket was free to use. Later I used to pay an annual fee of something like $39.00 for the privilege. In summer 2017 Photobucket committed reputation-destroying corporate hara-kiri by abruptly notifying its users (it claims to have 100 million of them) by email that their online photo libraries would be held to ransom unless they signed-up for their new package of almost $400 a year! All over the internet, blogs suddenly had blank black squares where photos used to be. It led to a tsunami of negative press for Photobucket and was a PR disaster! Photobucket customer support confirmed to me my existing package was in place (and my blog posts would remain secure) until March 2018, which gave me a deadline to work toward. There was no way I was agreeing to the frankly ludicrous $399.99 a year package, so in the meantime my ambitious and time-consuming art project was to comb through several years’ worth of old blog posts and manually, painstakingly replace Photobucket html links with actual photos one by one. It took months – but I did it! Phew! But that meant for a long time, my priority was fixing old blog entries rather than posting new ones.

Hair hoppers are welcome – at Lobotomy Room!

More disastrously – on 17 November I was burgled! I’ve been living in the same building for about nine years now and the front door lock has always been an issue. For the lock to click shut you have to slam the door hard and most of the other tenants seemed blissfully unconcerned! (Living on the ground floor, I was always aware I was at greater risk of being burgled than them). I’ve complained about it to the landlord over the years. More recently the landlord has been undertaking repairs in the hallway to fix a damp problem and the walls had been stripped back to the exposed brick. In one corner close to my flat it was further stripped to just a panel of thin wood (where the original door used to be). It was a very opportunistic moment for burglars while that was going on. The robbers were able to gain entry to the building (probably because the front door hadn’t been shut properly) and then literally kick a hole in the hallway wall, push the wardrobe out of the way and crawl into my flat! When I got home from work that night there was a gaping hole in the wall, my door was wide open, the lights were on and the place had been completely ransacked.

/ Goodbye, every single hat I've ever owned /

The thieves took my laptop and iPad which is bad enough. I don’t have home insurance and my day job in the charity sector is - shall we say - modestly paid, so replacing these (especially so close to Christmas) is a totally unexpected drain on the finances. I’ve written off the iPad but I can’t function without a laptop so I have had to cough up well over £600 for that. I lost all the contents on the old laptop (documents, photos, music), but that’s not the end of the world. What’s most gutting is the robbers also stole a dark grey Muji weekend bag from the top of the wardrobe – that contained my entire collection of vintage and reproduction hats. I don’t even think they really intended to steal them: they probably just wanted something to stuff the iPad and the laptop into.  My vintage fez, my Scorpio Rising biker cap, my white leopard print fur flat cap … all gone! This is all American stuff I picked up over the years during trips to Las Vegas (for the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender) and San Francisco. Even the reproduction items are now so old they're discontinued and every bit as irreplaceable as the genuine vintage pieces. (I immediately contacted My Baby Jo in California about replacing my biker cap. The company that used to manufacture them has gone bust! ). So at the moment I’m still waking up angry every day, alternating between rage and depression and genuinely grieving for my stolen stuff! Yes, it is "only stuff" but it does feel like a major loss. I had to DJ bare-headed at this Lobotomy Room, which just felt wrong! But yes - I feel pretty despairing at the moment. 

Yikes! What a downer. OK let’s change the subject. This Lobotomy Room was particularly tough in terms of competing events happening on the same night. Dirty Water Records presented King Salami and The Cumberland 3 with Los Coyote Men at The Lexington– an absolutely killer garage punk / surf instrumental double bill that even I would have been tempted to attend! How unlucky! More annoyingly (and a bit suspiciously), a Cramps tribute event called Bad Music for Bad People was held at Paper Dress Vintage (the venue where Lobotomy Room got its start in 2013). That was especially galling considering I’ve been doing Lobotomy Room at Fontaine’s every last Friday of the month now since summer 2015, regularly billing it as a night of “Bad Music for Bad People” and “Songs The Cramps Taught Us!” And they even projected “vintage b-movies”! It’s not even like 24 November represented something significant like the birth of Lux Interior or the anniversary of his death. And it did siphon-off some of my usual crowd! But having said that, some of the Paper Dress Vintage attendees did wind up at my night afterwards (they said it finished by about 11 pm. The reports I heard the next day made it sound fairly tepid). Luckily in the end enough people descended into the Bamboo Lounge to make doing this Lobotomy Room worthwhile – and most importantly, people danced!

/ “The violence that was normally only a promise (or threat) in rock'n’roll was realized in Esquerita’s sound.” Charles Gillett in his book The Sound of the City: The Rise of Rock‘n’Roll  /

Some eternal Lobotomy Room favourites celebrated birthdays in November. Such as the flamboyant, pompadoured "kween" of outsider rhythm and blues Esquerita (aka Eskew Reeder Jr, born in Greenville, South Carolina on 20 November 1935. He died in 1986). Esquerita was such a beauty! I made a point of playing “Esquerita and The Voola” – which sounds like he’s shrieking a lunatic voodoo incantation. It's an invitation to human sacrifice!

Meanwhile, glorious Bold Soul Sister, blissed-out and fright-wigged Acid Queen and the absolute tigress of rhythm and blues Tina Turner (née Anna Mae Bullock) turned 78 on 26 November. (Above is the fabulous Tina ripping it up onstage with the Ike and Tina Turner Revue in the seventies). I can’t imagine not playing a frantic 1960s Ike and Tina Turner rave-up at Lobotomy Room, but I also threw in Tina’s solo 1975 cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb.” Does anyone not like Tina Turner? At one point a friendly and garrulous woman with a cocktail in her hand joined me behind the DJ booth and started flicking through my DJ bag. She asked, “Do you mind me doing this?” I smiled and said "No" but of course I did! That’s a real liberty! All DJs hate that, and she was getting in my way. My solution was to say, “I’m going to play some Tina Turner for you. You should dance to this!” And she did! Problem solved! Thank you, Ms Turner!

Anyway, here's what I played:

Tall Cool One - The Fabulous Wailers
Drumble - Dennis and The Menaces
Blockade - The Rumblers
Road Runner - The 5,6,7,8s
Jukebox Babe - Alan Vega
Atomic Bongos - Lydia Lunch
I Don't Need You No More - The Rumblers
Johnny Lee - Faye Adams
Commanche - The Revels
What Do You Think I Am? Ike and Tina Turner
I Need Your Lovin' - Don Gardner and Dee Dee Ford
Bombora - The Original Surfaris
Rock-A-Bop - Sparkle Moore
Wild Wild Party - Charlie Feathers
Let's Have a Party - Wanda Jackson
Esquerita and The Voola - Esquerita
Bop Pills - Macy "Skip" Skipper
Wiped-Out - The Escorts
Let's Go Baby - Billy Eldridge
Big Bounce - Shirley Caddell
No Good Lover - Mickey and Sylvia
Beat Party - Ritchie and The Squires
Adult Books - X
Intoxica - The Revels
Wipe Out - The Surfaris
Batman - Link Wray and His Raymen
Muleskinner Blues - The Fendermen
Shortnin' Bread - The Readymen
Surfin' Bird - The Trashmen
Pedro Pistolas Twist - Los Twisters
Peter Gunn Twist - The Jesters
Peter Gunn Locomotion - The Delmonas
Viens danser le twist - Johnny Hallyday
Ultra Twist - The Cramps
Twistin' the Night Away - Divine
Gostaria de Saber (River Deep, Mountain High) - Wanderlea
Under My Thumb - Tina Turner
Lucille - Masaaki Hirao
I Walk Like Jayne Mansfield - The 5,6,7,8s
That Makes It - Jayne Mansfield
These Boots Are Made for Walkin' - Mrs Miller
Last of the Secret Agents - Nancy Sinatra
Dance with Me Henry - Ann-Margret
Whistle Bait - Larry Collins
Somethin' Else - Sid Vicious
Ain't That Lovin' You, Baby - The Earls of Suave
Be Bop a Lula - Alan Vega
Margaya - The Fender Four
Blitzkrieg Bop - The Ramonetures
Boys Are Boys and Girls Are Choice - The Monks
Year 1 - X
Forming - The Germs
Tunnel of Love - Wanda Jackson
Aphrodisiac - Bow Wow Wow
Viva Las Vegas - Nina Hagen
Rock Around the Clock - The Sex Pistols
Fools Rush In - Ricky Nelson
Devil in Disguise - Elvis Presley
Surf Rat - The Rumblers
Love Me - The Phantom
Scorpio - The Carnations
Dragon Walk - The Noblemen
Vampira - The Misfits
Boss - The Rumblers

Further reading:

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Remember: Lobotomy Room the incredibly strange dance club is the last Friday of every accursed month! Therefore the next one is Friday 29 December (come head-bang away your post-Christmas blues!). The film club is third Wednesday of every month. BBC2 is finally screening the sublime series Feud: Bette and Joan as of Saturday 16 December. Therefore Lobotomy Room is jumping on the bandwagon (I mean, embracing the spirit!) with a themed mini-season of "hagsploitation" horror films starring Joan Crawford and Bette Davis - starting on 20 December with the mutha of them all, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Details to follow soon!