Sunday, March 15, 2009
The Name Is The Lady Spade Party
It's hard to beat the Lady Spade.
They dance. They're babes. Their act is like something out of TV re-runs of 60's and 70's spy shows, the jet-set female star laughing theatrically after she completes another impossible mission.
The music is mid-20th century retro—jazzy soundtracks, kayoukyoku, French pop. The big, long-haired, goatee-ed, sunglassed DJ, SLF, also plays the role of an old Japanese cabaret MC, with just the right tongue-in-cheek formal mannerism and winking deference to the performers. Ruby, the Lady Spade's singer, is scripted as the free-spirited prima donna, so never speaks formal Japanese—'arigato' after songs rather than the standard 'arigatogozaimashita'—and she has her four adoring dancers fetch her water when she's thirsty.
I didn't realize until I listened to their debut album, Dial “S” For The Lady Spade (whose release party they held at the Chelsea Hotel in Shibuya), that Ruby wasn't just a singer and dancer, but the super-heroine you call when the problem was serious—the last planetary force field breached, for example—and she would laugh and help out if the project sounded interesting, for a fee. She's a Winston Wolf for global crises. Ruby's also a great driver—she compliments a gaijin-accented guy as being the “world's second best driver”, but on her days off, like any normal girl, she likes to have her admirers buy her things in Ginza and take her out to dinner in Aoyama.
How could I resist any of this???
The Chelsea Hotel event was more like a revue than a regular live house gig, with day-glo-wigged girls in faux-school uniforms and burlesque dancers wandering the floors one second and then performing on stage the next moment. We came out of the two-hour party exhilarated, revived, with a fresh view of the possibilities of entertainment and how it brightens up a dinky basement bar.
Several piko piko pop guys, as well as Patrick of chipple.net, were in the audience.
The fliers they handed out at the show were great—colorful and well-designed, including several advertising burlesque dance lessons (!). Here are some of them.