THE SKINJOBS at Vazaleen at Lee's Palace, March 28. Tickets: $10. Attendance: sold out. Rating: NNNN
Five minutes before vancouver queercore cuties the Skinjobs took the stage last Friday night at Lee's, a bodacious dyke with a baggie full of fake barf won a hundred bucks. A towering drag queen in shades and hot pants awarded the honour to the bespectacled babe after she trumped other eager beavers for the title of best hankie fetish (hers was barf-eating top; others included Gumby and disco scat).
Such is the beauty of Vazaleen, a sweet, sweet haven for this city's rebel army of freaks and misfits in studded cuffs and collars.
After that spectacle, I really felt for the Skinjobs. I mean, as a band, can you really top a baggie of barf?
Happily, the wack-job trio fit right in. In garish black-smeared makeup, they stormed the stage with an ominous incantation from Blade Runner (the band copped their name from the slang term for replicants) and an ecstatic assault of chimey guitar chords.
Frontman Mitch Fury -- whose Clark Kent daytime persona is Kim Kinakin, a designer with ties to Avril Lavigne (!) and ex of hardcore cult faves Sparkmaker -- won over the jaded art-fag crowd with totally tanked proclamations. (My favourite: "If anyone here looked like everyone else in here, you'd be one fucking boring crowd to play for. So fuck that rainbow!") Fury's surprisingly melodic yowl oddly evoked the Counting Crows' Adam Duritz.
Fury traded off on drum duty with adorable grrrl-growler Lee Hendon (actually Laura Schultz from BC indie outfit Qweezy), while bassist Mason Newlove (Mimi Mahovlich) breathed crush-inducing pretty harmonies throughout their short 'n' sweet set of poppy crunch-punk tunes.
Think Kids of America gone bent. You can't help but love the Skinjobs for their insane live energy and charmingly simple fizzy pop-rockers and sweetly naive pro-sex/everyone is gay!/anti-assimilationist sentiments. Burn Your Rainbow attacks gentrified mainstream Pride proponents; the anti-binary Gender Bender is pretty self-explanatory.
And they get extra marks for audience interaction, from the invitation to amateur go-go dancers to strut their stuff onstage to the hot newsboy-capped dyke who showed up for some extemporaneous, pleasantly non-earnest spoken word.
It was a magnificent spectacle of renegade rock 'n' roll, and far more entertaining than either the fetish fiasco or the ridiculous porn (penises as high as an elephant's eye!) projected on the email@example.com