The Cabaret Explosion

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The Cabaret Explosion: A Zen tone review


It’s Saturday June 28th, 2003.

"Lee…" I says to my friend, " …Lee, do you have any problem wearing a Fez?"

His response to the irresistible invitation is "I am torn. I think the Oriental Order

of Humility and Perfection is quite appropriate."

This should establish the Tone we experienced for the evening.


I come down from Running Springs and pick up Lee the at the Redlands train

station. I’ve been jamming out to polka, Polvo, and a Jenny Toomey lounge

attack the whole ride. One must always prepare when wanting to be entertained.

I’ve been waiting to see this show since November of last year, ever since Annie

Knight and Tina Bold came up with the idea of a benefit.

We roll up about 7:20pm at the Coffee Depot. Some of the first folks on the

scene are showing up. Lee and I check in with the ticket issue and a cup of Joe.

We get marked on our wristbands as #1 and #2. Guess that Fez may have paid

off, but ultimately these people know how to treat you right. I take two steps

for the coffee, turn, and there is Buzzsaw, sitting there reading the ‘Barber of

Seville’ and ‘ The Augustan Histories’. It would be impossible to follow the

story from here, so I’ll get to the specifics…

9:30-45pm…This gig was packed. Making it to the bathroom was an effort.

It would be extremely difficult to cram in anything more than a circus midget

with a pack of smokes. The vibe was building, and even the words chimed

through the air of the customers, " this is going be a hip show…"

And lo, it was…


Here are some highlights:

Intro: An introduction by Lisa Parker (LP) for step -up recovery explaining

where your money goes and why. This was critical. I don't like to be jerked

around. This was a DAMN GOOD CAUSE and I found the people to be



Alison Summer ' Mistress of Ceremonies ' and Pepper La Rue:

Let’s face it folks, these ladies could make an old man sweat,

and a weaker man weaker. I thought these two ladies were naturals

and comfortable with themselves. They set the pace for the show,

sexy and in control. Their enthusiasm on stage for the BBQ Kings

was note worthy. I look forward to seeing Ms. Sumner’s Art.


Renae Bryant – I haven’t seen Renae since the Barn and Harry C’s

scene. It was great to hear her espousing the importance of African

-American influence in Music. The two songs performed were

‘At Last’ by Etta James and ‘Hound dog’ by Big Mama Thorton.

Although the set of these songs were a little rough on the bass

player’s part, I thought it took balls to just get up there and do it.

Not only punk rock for as rough as it was, I really want to hear

Renae sing some Charlene Arthur. She’s still got it.


The Bellrays – These guys are already at the top. Been around as

long as I can remember the scene. Do you have to make tons of

cash to be taken seriously? The answer for the Bellrays is ‘No’.

As long as you have respect for your craft, everyone will know

you’re not fooling with them. Bob and Lisa were one of the

highlights of the show. I hope they do more acoustic work.

More soul than you might squeeze out of a James Brown

Instrumental album. They have laid claim as one of the IE’s best.


Jackie Joyce – I don’t get a chance to catch much spoken word

sets these days but I liked this one. Jackie has a sense of humor

and a wit to go with it. My favorite passage was ‘Post Nuclear

Carnival ‘–All I can say is… did you grow up in the Reagan

Years? I remember Nuclear drills in the 80’s. Well done


Buzzsaw – If you ever run into this guy, it is possible to cover

Gibbons ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’, Setoneous ‘The

Twelve Caesars’, Tacitus, and a variety of other relevant greats all in

the time span of about 10 minutes. From the Fleur de Lis to Munchies,

you still need a head on your shoulders to get this guy. Brain candy

comedy for those in the higher planes of existence. Good to see a

Shrimper artist alive and kicking, especially on this stage.


Annie Knight – A spoken word tribute to Gypsy Rose…

Well Gypsy Rose was a hottie, let’s face facts here. I want to start a

Annie Knight Appreciation Society after that show. Not only one of

the organizers, but a person who is willing to do what she may ask of

others. That’s important for a promoter if you want something done

right and with some class. A person willing to bare it all…


UCR Swing Club - Swing is American History. It is relevant.

This was such a small stage for performers, but they did their best.

And when the CD skipped and they lost their rhythm what did they

do? Wiped the sweat from their brows and kept trucking.


BBQ Kings – Never have seen these guys till now. Just two words:

KICK ASS. Obviously seasoned and experienced rockers. If Hasil

Adkins had a Revival, these guys motto would be ‘No more hot dogs

for you baby, gonna put your head up on my wall…’


Erinn Washburn - an act where Nina Simone was evoked, and a tight ass

lounge version of ‘The good ship lollipop’. Erinn had a solid presence.

I very much enjoyed this angle and must say it was one of my favorite

parts of the show. She knows how to work an audience with the slightest



Jamey Anderson & the Cheerleaders were sweet. Also Ketyna Dees

With her models fashion show was a hoot as well.

All those involved made the show something above and beyond.


For a first time run with this show, one would have to be blind not to see

its potential. The acts were wonderful, sexy, and educational.

This show had vaudevillian history, spoken word, solid music, song and

dance, humor, and something quite special. Gravity.


Tina Bold and Annie Knight have an intense gravity that pulls

the right people towards them for the right reasons. When

enough people are drawn towards you for a respectable cause,

chances are the talents those people posses will fuse into

something greater than the sum of their parts. Being able

to recognize that a local artistic scene can come together

and develop a framework by which good things can come

about, well, that is about as good as it gets.

Nuff Said…

The Institute for Silent Activity



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