JEFFREE STAR with FIERCE HELDER , BARBI , LENA LOVE , RAQUEL REED and MIKEY MURDER at Fly (8 Gloucester), Friday (February 16). $20 advance, more at the door. www.myspace.com/pixelroxx. Rating: NNNNN
The Internet is a strange place. There's really no other way to explain the phenomenon that is Jeffree Star, a former makeup artist who's managed to conjure up a ridiculous amount of virtual fame for a gender-bending electro-freak.
To put this in perspective, Jay-Z's myspace page has had about 4.5 million views, but that number is dwarfed by Star's mind-boggling 16.3 million views (at most recent count).
"It's weird, because I don't have a record out and I don't have any music for sale until next month. But I've been playing sold-out shows just because of my presence, because people want to see what it's all about," Star says from L.A. on his way to a recording session.
This sure ain't the music industry we grew up with, although the traditional major labels are now taking notice of self-made Internet celebrities like Star, as is the rest of the entertainment industry. In fact, he's about to start shooting a reality TV show tracking his journey from Web-based attention whore to real-life stardom.
"I didn't want to sit around and wait for someone to discover me, so I created my own self through the Internet. I made myself into a celebrity, and then everyone else caught on."
For better or worse, his music was pretty much an afterthought, just another element to add to his flamboyant looks and bratty persona. His musician friends craft the beats for him, and he spits some very campy gay rhymes over top.
Star won't impress many people with his singing voice or rapping, but as a complete package it's hard to avoid being drawn in, even if you hate him. As you might expect from his appearance and persona, he gets his share of hate mail.
"People will take the time to read everything I'm about, and then they'll add me as their friend but leave comments talking shit- it's just a waste of energy. Obviously, they're intrigued by something or they wouldn't have said anything. Negative or positive attention - I think it's all great."
He must be doing something right, as the gigs keep coming in, including opening for Cyndi Lauper on her summer tour. Star seems well on his way to becoming famous for being famous.
Watch out, Paris Hilton.