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February 2, 2007
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Volume 35
Issue 05
 
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Where It's At
Daughtry slamming Neumos with sold out show; Dita Von Teese gets revealing at The Triple Door
by Albert Rodriguez and Jessica Browning - SGN A&E Writers

Daughtry
Tuesday, February 6 - 8pm
Neumos - Sold Out


Chris Daughtry didn't win "American Idol" last season. But he should have. Considering that the actual winner, Taylor Hicks, has resulted in what we once feared, a pop-soul earache, Daughtry would have made for a livelier success story. The North Carolina native used his edgy vocals and action hero looks (could pass for Vin Diesel's brother) to finish fourth in the popular televised competition in 2006. The good news is that's all water under the bridge.

Daughtry moved on with his life, and with his musical ambitions. The shaved-headed singer/guitarist turned his reality TV experience into a smart career move, forming a rock band and distancing himself, as best he could, from Idol fanaticism. Writing or co-writing nearly every track on his group's debut album, Daughtry's real glory days were lurking right around the corner. The self-titled CD was certified platinum after only eight weeks of release. Not bad for a fourth place finisher, eh? The first cut from Daughtry is the feisty "It's Not Over", currently listed on Billboard's top forty singles chart. The music video for the track, directed by Dean Karr (Damian Marley, Seether) and Jay Martin (Dashboard Confessional), was added to VH1 this week.

Personally, Daughtry was my favorite Idol last year. I loved his gutsy, raw-ker style and fell even harder for him when he made his exit from the show a graceful one. If there's something to be learned from Chris Daughtry's Idol journey it's that there might only be one champion, but there's no limit on the number of winners. More power to him, I look forward to his artistic rise.

Tuesday night's concert at Neumos is sold out, which seems to be a trend throughout Daughtry's coast-to-coast tour. The show is all-ages, meaning that the kiddy cats will be out in full force and squealing incessantly. But, I do believe the upper section of the venue is sectioned off for adults, and that's where you'll find a cozy bar and seating booths away from the twinks. Doors open at 7pm, with Daughtry expected to go onstage around 9pm. A supporting act hasn't been formally announced, but do expect one. The band will likely play every cut from the album. For pre-funk drinks, patronize the Gay bars along the Pike-Pine corridor and Madison. A. Rodriguez

Artist essentials: Daughtry, the self-titled album by the group fronted by Chris Daughtry.

Dita Von Teese w/ The Atomic Bombshells
Friday-Saturday, February 9-10- 7pm and 10pm
The Triple Door- $25 adv/$30 door


Who would have guessed that 80 years after the heyday of the Prohibition era burlesque theaters and headlining honeys, an authentic, world-class star such as Dita Von Teese would not only carry on the grand tradition, but raise it to a whole new level? Gay ladies and gents with an eye for fashion photography or the pulse-quickening pages of modern fetish portfolios may have noticed

Von Teese on dozens of magazine covers in recent years. She has been photographed at a variety of red carpet events as well. She's the girl with the perfect face and body, impeccably groomed and worshipped by many a lady or gentleman with a sweet spot for beautiful things. Up until recently, you might have seen Von Teese on the arm of her soon-to be-ex-husband Marilyn Manson. But no matter. Dita Von Teese is the undeniable, self-made Queen of the New Burlesque. As Von Teese herself says in the introduction to her sumptuous 2006 double book Burlesque & the Art of the Teese/The Art of Fetish, "I advocate glamour. Every day. Every minute." There are other modern burlesque troupes out there, but none hold a candle to a performance by Dita Von Teese. She is quite simply the best there is - and she's appearing at The Triple Door for two nights this week.

Unlike many other flesh-baring beauties, this showgirl inspires through her ability to be both sexy and self-made, a bird of paradise of her very own creation. She's got business smarts and instincts about what makes her audience tick and she nails it every time. She is a role model that proves to any guy or gal that beauty is attainable, inside and out, if you can dream it up and give it a try. Not only is she a gorgeous living legend seemingly from another era, she's also utterly professional and approaches her work with seriousness and uncommon perfection. Every move, every shake is a thrill, right down to the music and stage sets, sometimes including a giant portable carousel horse or a lovely gilded birdcage.

Now for a little background to set the mood. Dita Von Teese was born in a small town in Michigan and raised in a historic antique-filled home. Her mother, a manicurist, fostered Von Teese's love for old film stars such as Betty Grable. Classically trained as a ballet dancer from age five, Von Teese danced solo at thirteen for a local ballet company. By this time, the family had moved to Orange County, California, and the young Von Teese began to realize that beauty and elegance can be learned. By 15, she'd started collecting vintage clothing from the 1920's to the 1950's, with a particular fondness for underpinnings. This led to an eventual job at local "sweetshop" Lady Ruby's Lingerie, where she became an expert in all things delicate and laced. In college, Von Teese studied historic costuming and aspired to work as a stylist for period films. Meanwhile, she trained as a costume designer and spent her paychecks on vintage corsets. One day, Von Teese wandered into a shop specializing in photographs and fetish gear and came across a picture of Bettie Page. Page's vibrancy and sense of fun appealed to Von Teese, who from that moment carefully researched old pinups and tried her hand at modeling. Soon after, Von Teese realized that some of the girls in the photos and books she'd unearthed weren't models at all. They were dancers. Burlesque dancers.

With her dance training and a mission to bring back glamour and nostalgic elegance to the stage, Von Teese's career began in earnest. Tipping her vintage hat to nearly-forgotten peelers such as silent film star Sally Rand and the champagne-bathing Lily St. Cyr, Von Teese performed a variety of tributes to her idols as well as her own unique variations. As word spread and her fame grew, Hugh Heffner, Jean Paul Gaultier, and photographers such as Pierre et Gilles and Ellen Von Unwerth took note. Last summer, fresh from performing at varied fashion events for designers Jean Paul Gaultier, Louis Vuitton, Christian Louboutin, and Marc Jacobs, Von Teese performed at The Triple Door. She delighted her Seattle audience by popping out of a giant powder compact, splashing about in a martini glass complete with a giant olive bathing sponge, and shimmering in an exotic fan dance en pointe. Best of all, there's always a payoff. Von Teese knows the secret to any good tease is to build anticipation to a fever pitch; then, and only then, you'll get to catch a peep or two as she shakes those tailfeathers. Glancing around the room last summer, I saw a very happy crowd of Lesbians, Gay boys, straight gals and guys, old school Hollywood fans - everyone with jaws dropped to the floor, visions of pasties twirling in their dazzled eyes and the faint whiff of scented powder in the air.

One of the most remarkable things about Dita Von Teese is that she is completely self-styled. Her razzle dazzle costumes are often custom-made by friend and costumer Catherine D'lish. Van Teese designs and choreographs each routine herself, right down to styling her own hair, makeup, and nails. This lady is white hot and in control of her own act, unlike so many stars in our entourage-driven culture. Von Teese is scheduled to perform next in Munich for the GQ Style Awards. Then it's on to Seattle's Triple Door, where she will put in two rare appearances per night on February 9 and 10. Traveling the world wearing sparkling gowns, being photographed by some of the world's best shutterbugs, appearing at special events all around the globe - who wouldn't want to do that? And if you can't do it yourself, you can always fantasize and hold court with the Queen of the New Burlesque herself thisweek at the Triple Door. J. Browning

Artist essentials: Von Teese's 2006 book, "Burlesque and the Art of the Teese/The Art of Fetish".

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