Friday, June 11, 2010


This is Angie Pontani.


Angie Pontani!

When I saw her perform, it was like she was a huge shaking and snapping eraser, erasing all the ignorance and residual ideas I had about burlesque. She was performing a tribute to Blaze Starr. (Whose real name is: Fannie Belle Fleming!) I had forgotten about the Governor Long story, of which Blaze was a huge part. A woman who moved like that in the 50s would just be able to take over. It was fun to watch now. Back then, I can only imagine.


All this is about how I learned to live. I’ve learned how to live by jockeys, by jazz, and recently I have thought about life in terms of burlesque.

I am afraid that asking people to read between the boobs sounds too clever, which it is. Yet, when I think about it, I really have the feeling that that is just too close to the very truth of what I am doing now. Next to slapping advertising pasties on a pair of a neoburlesque star's climactic assets, the idea of slipping a couple of worthy souls between some slammingboobyflesh in the hopes of getting some deserved attention for some other interesting interests seems like an idea anyone could at least imagine some entertaining consequences... of.


This is Calvin Borel.


Calvin Borel, making me think.


Calvin Borel has won 3 of the last 4 Kentucky Derbies. This is unheard of and unheard of. Just for that I think he deserves alot more attention, just because it really makes no sense that profoundly worthless "personalities" (that is a word I don't even trust anymore) really can effortlessly segue into comfort and applause and gain far far more attention than someone who really should be thought of as more like hmmm... like — christ if this was baseball, this guy would have been on magazine covers forever. He won something three times (in four years) that any jockey would really just do anything to get... once… in a lifetime of riding. He can't read, he can't write... but the horses he rides and he himself, have become something... freakishly wild. And yet he’s almost unknown.


What I am really into saying is that perhaps even more attention to be paid to really looking at how people spend their DVI (disposable visual income). Because it can’t be good for people to consume so many really pretty defective, completely subpar people (stars) the way we do. And we miss certain real badasses, like John Velazquez, Edgar Prado, and Calvin Borel. Just the basic knowledge that someone won 3 Kentucky Derbies (with even the smallest touch of semi-understanding), is inspiring.


John Velazquez is badass.

This is Jo “Boobs” Weldon

Jo "Boobs" Weldon


Yes, shooting just the boobs could be seen as a transparent gimmick... at the very least, if I was a guy I might be perceived a pervert. But there really is something that I am trying to say with my own version of burlesque portraiture. I am saying that there are things and subjects right under the radar that perhaps should be focused on... like the boobs of burlesque have been under the radar in a way. They have always been there, they are still the focus of the performance, but yet there has no photographic focus (to my knowledge of course) on the simple exclamatory glands themselves. As a comment, as pretty, as witty, as anything. Burlesques breasts seem to be the breasts of exclamation and attraction itself. So I am just adding alittle bit of punctuation I think to my work... it is actually quite a challenge shooting good boob shots. In a burlesque show, they are always moving around so much... sometimes the high speed boob shots don't look good at all. Maybe the last word in any writing on burlesque should end with the tits, I mean that is the so called “reveal,” in a burlesque performance — the end of the story. I really do wonder why noone just focused on the boobs… there has always seemed to be a lot of boob fans… aren't the tits enough?

Really, I have checked so many pages of flickr burlesque shots and googled and checked out burlesque photography... sofar, I haven't seen a single shot that just focused on the succulence and artistry. Where's the S&A? Please direct me towards the truth if I am in error!


About Jo “Books” Weldon:


The stories of burlesque (as every burlesque performance is a story) — they end in so many ways. They pretty much end up all at the same places though, so it’s really all about how to get there. And how to get there and what to wear on the trip is all in Jo “Books” Weldon’s first book, The Burlesque HANDBOOK. This book is just released from Harper/Collins, and Jo writes with such candid flirty eloquence about burlesque choreography and acting — she tells us that it sometimes has more to do with Bugs Bunny animation than well… what you might expect. The artist R. Crumb in the 1994 Zwigoff documentary mentions a real “crush” he had on Bugs Bunny. That two different artists involved in very sexual expressions both gained such powerful influence from Bugs Bunny is super touching to me. If you were gonna be anyone in any of those old Warner Bros. cartoons, there really is no doubt that that is who to be. But as an example of how to work a burlesque routine — and the specific animation in particular that she uses for THE example, will be instantly recognizable to a substantial demographic — we’ve all seen it — I find an animation to be a GENIUS model for how to move in a burlesque performance. I will never look at Bugs Bunny (or perhaps movement itself) the same way again. She is dead spot on. The parts where she talks about her animation influences/references was a surprising revelation. I mean you know, if Bugs Bunny entered a burlesque competition, you know the wabbit would win. No DOUBT. If you’ve recently gotten into burlesque, you won’t have a good understanding of burlesque if you don’t read this — it seems that there are not many good books on burlesque. I actually find that easy to believe. I have just started getting really interested in the neoburlesque scene... so it was so great to have all this information all there... really. Great book Jo! Nice world ya got there.


Jo Weldon is a revolutionary, in the art of telling a good boob story. It is hard work, that is one thing I see with her, she gives everything to the book, to what she does… She totally works her boobs off. I admire that. A lot. That is what I love thinking ad writing about... people who work really hard and just rock on what they do.


This is Meschiya Lake, I probably don’t need to intrioduce her to some people.




I really doubt that there is a better world to watch in New Orleans than Meschiya Lake’s. I’m a New Yorker, and I felt like I’d fallen down a rabbithole when I visited last October to take pictures for her newly released CD “Lucky Devil.” New Orleans is so exquisitely different. It’s grotesque what is happening now… we thought we had enough to deal with with Katrina which doesn’t look… so… bad…………… now. It’s like when there was a big herpes scare, in the 70s or something… and that really seemed to freak people alittle judging by the coverage, but then AIDS happened and herpes seemed almost okay. To me, this is, thanks BP, pretty much, like watching something taking a huge shit in the ocean right in front of us. That is how I see it. It’s like a Bosch nightmare to me. Real grotesque human nature. We are all getting a nice close look up the stinky smelly ass of human nature.


You know Meschiya Lake would take your mind offa that. She is the party in New Orleans that we all should have wherever we are.


The CD? — I immediately want a glass of red wine and some NOLA chow. I’m not a dancer! I just really like the daydreamy fantasies I have about living in a little depression era looking Walker Evans lookin little apartment with a little victrola or radio playing this... and then I just keep seeing and wondering how noone had that voice yet! Meschiya’s voice is so different. And I love hearing those instruments like I like walking around and looking at flowers and trees. If flowers and trees had tattoos, or a whole city, or the world, tattooed with the Chrysler Buildinglike spires and dots and the family wings and the mermaid tails of the tattoos she gots. I feel like there is something different about the tattoos of Meschiya Lake. Like if cities had tattoos, New Orleans would have them, somewhere… but it can’t, she has them.


Lucky Devil


Lucky Devil – inside cover photography —


Neo-burlesque, the Neo-Depression,

I’m suspicious that progress is just an illusion now, I have been for years, but now I am really into the world that has trombone players named The Butcher.

The Butcher

Meschiya Lake looks cool. She looks tough, she looks sweet, she looks. She just dresses herself.


The salty sweatiness of the song Lucky Devil is molassesy and almost stumbly, very lovey. It actually sounds kindof hellish… in a really comfortable and soothing way, like the poppies in The Wizard of Oz.


If you don’t check out the credits before you listen, around the third song you might sortof have a feeling like “wow, I didn’t know anyone sang things like this then…” and those for me were her own compositions. They are a chick being real, in so many ways.


I’m sure whatever she is doing as I write this is totally doc worthy. That’s just what she is like in real life. It’s been hard for me to know of her, and also see so much real SHIT on TV and go damn, this is what is interesting? I mean the evidence is that it must be right? But it just has to be some crappy programming we humans have that we should look at, because I really it distracts from reality. Kim Kardasian — everytime we see her, what she is really really doing is distracting us from a very scary reality. She and her sisters are fembots, scarier than the ones in The Million Dollar Man.

But Unce Jack? Tuba Skinny? Chief Sitting Voelker? They are there for you. They have Meschiya’s back, they have yours too.


If I didn’t have the people I follow like I do, I would be so bored. I would not get the coverage I want out of the coverage there is. That is why I am doing what I do. I want more coverage of the subjects I like… I think that they are good enough to share too. I want to share the jazz world with the jockey world and the burlesque world with both. Today I got a message on facebook from a horseracing fan asking what burlesque dancing is. I liked that.


This is Legs Malone. The girl with the 341/2 inch inseam.


LES burlesque re-enactors

 I hadn’t seen Malone in awhile. I had some investigating to do. 

Hmm, last time she was on myspace was 12/28/2009. My birthday is actually the 28th of December so I thought that was cool. 

Let’s see, I missed a lot.

Whole lot of Sugar Shack, The Legs Malone Show… oooh I missed so much. And after investigating a bit more I found she has a very intelligent background. Not surprised. In the picture I took of her in 2008, she gave off such an earthy cool charisma. Now, she looks like the Manson chicks would look like if any of them had actually been charming, too bad she hadn't been one of them, maybe she could have told them the WAY TO GO. 

LovelyLegs Malone

She has a very distinctive catlike face. She’s like if Catwoman from the Batman TV series, Julie Newmar, had had a lanky Steve McQueen lovechild.


I think she is worth following.