Sunday, December 16, 2007

Finely Woven Filth: Or, Horny For Presents

A John Waters Christmas + Lavender Diamond: Turner Ballroom, Milwaukee, 12/12/07

[Sorry, no photos. Camera broke.]

Connie Marble: Oh, I love you Raymond. I love you more than anything in this whole world. I love you more than my own filthiness, more than my own hair color. Oh God, I love you more than the sound of bones breaking, the sound of death rattle--even more than the sound of my own shit do I love you, Raymond.

Raymond Marble: And I, Connie, also love you more than anything that I could ever imagine: more than my hair color, more than the sound of babies crying, of dogs dying--even more than the thought of original sin itself. I am yours, Connie, eternally united through an invisible core of finely woven filth, that even God himself could never ever break.

Howdy from Baltimore!

As I write this, I can't be too far from the sidewalk off which Divine ate dog shit for John Waters' camera (at the end of Pink Flamingos). Just a few days before flying out here, I caught one of B'more's finest on his Christmas tour. Beyond those amazing and transgressive films is a snappy showman who's up for riffing about anything. He's just a cool motherfucker, not merely a prankster behind a camera. As he mentions at that link, he's a big Ike and Tina Turner admirer, and arrived in Milwaukee just in time to announce Ike's death.

On his annual Christmas tour, he pops out for an hour of breathless rambles about the holidays and whatever else he gets around to, including his desire to land on the cover of Parade magazine. He never lets up, never seems the least bit unsure of himself. Phrase of the night: "I'm horny for presents."

Throughout Waters' performance, a scary fat drunk lady behind us kept yelling stuff, though not enough to really disrupt things. It's a John Waters thing, so a few mental defectives are bound to emerge. Most of what she said wasn't memorable, though I recall that at one point she called out for a Pink Flamingos musical. During the Q&A portion of Waters' set, she started raving about her support for Dennis Kucinich: "HIS WIFE... HE HAS A GREAT... RED-HEADED WIFE..." Waters smoothed right through a brief exchange and went onto the next questioner, though the dumbass kept it up until the end.

For some reason, Waters brought along the band Lavender Diamond for an opening set. For once, it was hard to blame people for talking through the songs. These are precious little morsels of quirky folk that probably sound great when it's late and quiet, but it clunked onstage. Wearing a billowing white dress, singer Becky Stark looked like a cloud trapped inside a K-Mart; the three dudes backing her had zero stage presence. Except for the drummer, who played his minimal beats with greatly exaggerated movements that made him look even more useless. Still, why not bring some surprises to a tour like this?

Though a great filmmaker, Waters should do more of this speaking stuff. There's a killing to be made on the corporate banquet circuit, eh?