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Friday, May 28, 2004

 

Corsets in hell

In the end, I couldn't resist the siren call of the corsets. On Tuesday night I diligently went to Dante's to see Rasputina.

If you've never been, the place is a inferno-themed bar/concert venue at the corner of 3rd and Burnside. As someone else once pointed out, "Dante's is like a devil girl sticker on the back of a Saturn." Indeed, it's hard to tell how seriously the place takes its cheeky din o' sin theme. The wall, the ceiling, the bar- everything's painted red and a black velvet painting of a nude woman and snake serves as the place's centerpiece. Then there's the price of drinks. In hell, I'm sure a watered-down martini would also run $8.

I don't want to come down too hard on Dante's. The decor is original, there's a neat firepit and they have a table-top Mrs. Pac-Man machine. The bar also supports all sorts of "out there" acts like Rasputina and Gogol Bordello and plays host to the occasional Suicide Girl cabaret night. Plus, Dante's draws a pretty gosh-darn interesting crowd.

Take the guy that walked in during Audio Learning Center's opening set. It was at least 80 degrees in the bar and he was wearing a fedora, a pinstripe suit and a thick, full length winter coat. His skin was incredibly pale and there was a cane in his right hand. I'm completely convinced that he must have been a real-deal vampire- ok, slim possibility he was a zombie or a combination of the two. Eeep! Regardless, no human being could handle that kind of heat.

Regardless of his unearthly appearance, the vampire guy was pretty popular and chatted with practically everyone there. Also in attendance: several shirtless, middle aged cowboys in red velvet vests, a hoard of goth chicks, one guy who looked exactly like KG from Tenacious D, another guy who looked exactly like Tim Meadows, an incredibly short girl in a Pugsly-style stripped shirt with a red mohawk and a woman who looked exactly like Miss Scarlet from Clue.

---------

As for Rasputina, they came out on stage in full Victorian attire as a string version of "Someday My Prince Will Come" played over the PA. Along with their usual catalog of songs about cannibalism and Howard Hughes' late life quirks, they delved into covers of "Rock and Roll," "Barracuda," "Bad Moon Rising" and, most notably, "Baby Got Back." Between songs, lead-singer Melora Creager offered brief historical lessons and a story about throwing rocks at janitors while in grade school. Best of all was a brief rant about Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks. The following isn't verbatim but it should suffice:

"Stevie Nicks once said that her only regret was that she never had a child. Do you know why, dear friends, she never had a child? This is because she spent her child-bearing years having roadies blow cocaine up her butt. Our roadies, alas, don't blow cocaine up our butts. It's not all bad. Because they don't blow cocaine up our butts we can have pretty things like babies and such."

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