What, Me Prickly?

Written by Adam Heimlich on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts.

Too many liberals suck
at thinking for themselves. Bern’s success among the youth wing of Hillary
Clinton’s political base just goes to show how that demographic forgets
to be offended if the right buzzwords aren’t uttered. James Carville
has made a career out of shouting out those very cues at moments opportune for
his Democratic clients. For perfecting the technique, fork-tongued Carville
will go down in history as the man who figured out how to pass off a civil-liberties-curtailing,
drug-war waging, foreign-civilian-bombing, environmentally unfriendly, double-dealing,
sexually predatory law-and-order politician as the great left-wing hero of our
time. In the meantime, he’ll be offering his opinions on Election 2000
on Sunday night at the 92nd St. Y. (11/7, 7:30 p.m., 1395 Lexington Ave.
at 92nd St., 996-1100, $20.)

That it’s easy to
fool people is the axiom Joey Scaggs’ 30-year career has hinged
on. The professional prankster is a shameless self-promoter, and the political
impact he claims for his hoaxes is dubious at best. But some of the gags he’s
pulled off were pretty funny. In 1994, for instance, he did an infomercial as
"psychic attorney Maqdananda," whom civil-case plaintiffs could supposedly
hire to tell them if they were going to win or should settle. Maqdananda’s
answering machine said, "I knew you’d call," but CNN missed the
hint and ran the infomercial. Scaggs’ entire career is documented at joeyskaggs.com,
and he’ll speak on "The Art of the Con" Thursday at Housing
Works Used Book Cafe
. It’s a presentation of Fairness and Accuracy
in Reporting–or, perhaps, this press release I have is not for real. (11/4,
7 p.m., 126 Crosby St., betw. Houston & Prince Sts., 334-3324, free.)

I’m compelled to
give Rage Against the Machine the benefit of the doubt and say they’re
for real, even though they make tons of money for a corporate label and will
make an in-store appearance at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square Wednesday
evening. (11/3, 6 p.m., 1540 B’way at 46th St., 921-1020.) They make the
most powerful rap-metal heard on American radio–a title equivalent in stature
to that of the toughest high school gym teacher on Long Island–but Rage
might as well be Bad Brains compared to Limp Bizkit. I’m counting on Rage’s
new The Battle of Los Angeles to end the odious Bizkit’s moment.
Indoctrinating the kids in liberal groupthink and wowing them with scrawny Public
Enemy impressions looked pretty silly back around the time of the first Tibetan
Freedom Concert, but today Rage’s formula looks more like medicine for
the gym-teacher-revering Class of ’02.

Yes, it’s easy to
fool people and hard to instruct them. Most difficult of all is confusing and
upsetting audiences to the mental breaking point–at which opportunities
for independent thought by people not otherwise so inclined tend to arise. Works
by two artist/educators proficient at this method are on view this week. The
great Werner Herzog’s most recent work, My Best Fiend, is
a documentary about his tumultuous relationship with the late Klaus Kinski,
star of Herzog’s Aguirre, Nosferatu and Fitzcarraldo.
Fiend opens Wednesday for a two-week run at Film Forum. (11/3-16,
209 W. Houston St., betw. 6th Ave. & Varick St., 727-8110.) Herzog’s
genius probably won’t be recognized by the mainstream until he’s dead
and a major Hollywood star gets cast to portray him in a corny biopic. Then
institutions will present fawning retrospective packages like the Andy Kaufman
one now viewable at the Museum of Television and Radio. (Through 1/30/00,
25 W. 52nd St., betw. 5th & 6th Aves., 621-6600.)

Well I just have something
sour to say about everything, don’t I? I’m reminded of how NYPress
editor John Strausbaugh, before he started calling me "Heimy," used
to address me as "You Prickly Fuck." I’m going to give the floor
over to Mr. Sunshine in a moment so he can demonstrate the art of spreading
joy, but first let me spew bile for two more paragraphs:

Iggy Pop is playing
Irving Plaza on Thursday and Friday, and you shouldn’t go even if
you love Iggy because his new album is astoundingly bad. Maggie Estep’s
entertaining Black Book story on being Iggy’s fuckbuddy (fall issue)
would have been a lot more valuable if she’d had the guts to reveal this
sad fact. (11/4-5, 17 Irving Pl. at 15th St., 777-6800, $25/$22.50 adv.)

You shouldn’t need
Maggie to tell you that the new Michael Mann film The
, which opens Friday, is a piece of crap–Mann’s record
(executive producer of Miami Vice, director of Heat), plus the
trailers featuring Al Pacino self-righteously hamming it up yet again should
tell you all you need to know. But since I have a source who spent six of the
worst weeks of his life working on the set of The Insider, I’ll
convey my secondhand knowledge that the film was made by spoiled, vain, staggeringly
wasteful, dimwitted children. So take your $9.75 elsewhere. Save up to spoil
your own children with the new Pokemon movie, which opens a week from Friday,
on Nov. 12.

Now hear Strausbaugh:

"Rocky Sullivan’s,
the Black 47 bar in Murray Hill where C.J. Sullivan likes to be, keeps customers
busy with Irish lessons some nights, Irish music other nights, and readings
at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays. This week it’s our man William Monahan,
whose novel Light House comes out next spring. He’ll be reading
from the next one after that, called Nothing in the World. I know squat
about it except that it’s probably very funny and extremely well-crafted.
(11/3, 8 p.m., 129 Lexington Ave., betw. 28th & 29th Sts., 725-3871.)

"Michael Garin,
the piano man usually heard at the Monkey Bar, has been doing so well at the
Duplex the past month that his run there’s been extended through
the end of the year. Garin’s set is a smooth, winking mix of lounge standards
and pop chestnuts–tango to Cole Porter to "Mack the Knife" to
"King of the Road" (we gave him a "Best Segue" award this
year for his Piaf/Fats Domino micro-medley)–and he salts in a few clever
originals too. (Sats. Nov. 6, 13 & 20 at 8 p.m., then Mons. through Dec.
at 7 p.m., 61 Christopher St. at 7th Ave., 255-5438.)

"My friend Bob Isenhart
does cutting-edge research in brain mapping, so it was a bit surprising to find
out that his mom back in Ohio, Jeanne Isenhart, is a contemporary Grandma
Moses type, painting these nice American Primitive scenes of horse-drawn buggies
and Christmas vignettes and all that. She’s got work in a large group show
called ‘Tis the Season’ at the Frank J. Miele Contemporary American
Folk Art Gallery
, opening Tues., Nov. 9, and up through Dec. 31. Shut up
and warm your cockles, you prickly fuck. (1086 Madison Ave., betw. 81st &
82nd St., 249-7250.)"

Well that brightened up
the mood now, didn’t it? In this cleansed forum, I can earnestly report
my concert picks, starting with Cavestomp. Actually it’s called
Cavestomp! ’99, but that’s a lot of punctuation for the premier garage-rock
and primal-punk festival in the entire world. This year Cavestomp runs three
days, the first and last of which will feature performances by the legendary
Monks. American G.I.s stationed in Germany when they recorded some of the most
stripped-down, raw-boned, rocking-for-the-sake-of-rocking rock ever, the Monks
have reunited after 32 years to rock some more. Also playing this year’s
Cavestomp (full schedule at cavestomp.com) are the Chocolate Watchband, Dead
Moon, the Standells, the Fleshtones and the 5,6,7,8’s. (11/5-7 at the Westbeth
, 151 Bank St. at West St., 741-0391, $25 per night or $65 for all

In other Monks news, Monks
bassist Eddie Shaw will read from his Monks book Black Monk Time
Thursday at Shakespeare & Co. (11/4, 7 p.m., 716 B’way at Waverly Pl.,
529-1330, free), and the Monks will be on WFMU (91.1 FM) Sunday afternoon, from
3-5 p.m., in conjunction with this weekend’s big annual WFMU Record
at Metropolitan Pavilion. (11/5-7,125 W. 18th St., betw. 6th
& 7th Aves., 201-521-1416, $5 Sat. & Sun., $20 for Friday-night first

The rest
is music for grownups: Peruvian diva Susana Baca plays S.O.B.’s
Sunday night. This show probably won’t measure up to the open-air performance
she delivered on a beautiful night in Central Park last summer, but then again,
maybe in an intimate club setting she’ll be even more captivating. (11/7,
8 & 10 p.m., 204 Varick St. at Houston St., 243-4940, $20.) And lastly,
the greatest living example of the turntablist-as-musician, master DJ Rob
, does his thing Saturday night at the Cooler. Forget whichever
scratch-Yngwie the magazine assholes are hyping this month–Swift will blow
your mind. (11/6, with Swift’s fellow X-Ecutioner Mista Sinista opening,
416 W. 14th St., betw. 9th Ave. & Washington St., 229-0785.)