PARIS THE BLACK FU with MIKE HUCKABY, CHRISTIAN NEWHOOK & BROWNMAN, DAVID COOPER, KILGORE TROUT, ADAM MARSHALL and ALI BLACK at House of Props (55 St. Lawrence), Friday (April 4). $12 advance, $20 at the door. 416-516-7760.
The Detroit Grand Pubahs are a weird enough project. They cross P-Funk cartoon sexuality with raw, minimal techno booty. Their huge crossover hit, a dirty little number called Sandwiches, features Paris the Black Fu chanting "Make your legs like butter, easy to spread" through a pitch shifter that morphs his voice into something that sounds like Rick James on helium.
But talking to Paris takes the surrealism to a whole new level. On his cellphone, he explains that he's shopping for props for his video, part of which will be shot at the party in Toronto on Friday (April 4).
I offer to postpone the interview until a more convenient time, but he says he should probably do it now, since he plans on being drunk for the next few days.
Through the rest of the conversation he keeps interrupting himself to ask the salesperson increasingly strange questions.
"Do you have any more Jesus wigs and beards? I need some clown makeup, too, if you don't mind. One of the girls is going to have a big pimple on her butt. You got any latex body paint? We need a bunch. This girl's pretty big; she's a body builder. What about leprechaun outfits? I'm gonna be a pimp leprechaun in a Jesus beard."
The video's concept is explained in its title: The Search For The Perfect Booty.
"I know the girls in Toronto have some bad asses -- I've seen them."
So yes, there's going to be a booty contest at a techno party in Toronto. Will Toronto shake its Protestant modesty long enough to get into it? If anyone can inspire that kind of behaviour, it's Paris.
A lot has changed for the Pubahs since Sandwiches rocketed up the charts. Paris's partner, Andy "Dr. Toefinger" Toth, has left the project, and Jive dropped them after the improbability of another mainstream hit became apparent.
"I'd rather have it this way. If I'd known about how major labels operate I wouldn't have signed on. Andy is a great engineer and a great producer, but I like to keep things simple and gritty, not polish things up too much, because it has more of a personality then."
Paris has now taken on all the responsibility, and claims that upcoming releases will have more of a political bent than was obvious before.
"I'm doing some things right now that are very politically driven, talking about the hypocrisy in our government, talking about people disrespecting their mothers, talking about fake breasts. The humour is still there and makes it easier to accept, because you're not stabbing at people.
"Even when I was a kid I would sit in my room and write political speeches. But being a kid, I wasn't in a position to get listened to. Now I'm in a position where people might actually hear what I have to say."
Paris has another project in the fire that encompasses his less sexually inspired material.
"What I really wanted to start off doing was punk funk, and that's what I'm getting into right now. I'm putting together a band. The Grand Pubahs is me by myself now, but the stuff I'm doing with this band is called the Asexual Albino Cockroaches with Black Features."