Roxy Dlight Friday at the Bell House

(Sound of Alka Seltzer plop plop fizz fizzing. A Zippo lighter clicks, lights, clicks shut. Venetian blinds are drawn. J.D.’s voice is heard; a voice scarred by cigarettes, Hendricks Gin, and late, late nights of carousing with half-naked… er, people.)

If I sound exhausted it’s because I am. Tore up from the floor up. Shredded like my mini-wheats without the frosting. My four-day stubble has four-day stubble. My front room is knee-deep in beer and whiskey. I think I may have seen too many boobies. Let me say that again. I think I may have seen too many boobies. The last time I saw that much flesh it was Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Katrina was just the name of a sweet young girl from Kansas who took a left turn at Albuquerque.

You gotta hand it to Angie Pontani—the lady knows how to throw a party. Four days, four venues, eighty-eight acts by my count—adds up to well over a hundred performers—and so much hotness the Devil himself had to go back home to cool off. My knees ache from standing at attention, my [unmentionable] aches from standing at attention, my feet are swollen, my fingers are nicotine- and ink-stained, my lungs are crying out for non-nicotine-flavored air, my liver has straight-up packed its bags and left me—AND it took the dog—my sinuses are about to fall to the floor and I’m pretty sure I raised the GNP of Columbia this weekend. I’ve given out a dozen fake names, and at least four other people have claimed to be me in the hopes of getting free schwag, which basically adds up to a half dozen people thinking they had sex with J.D. Oxblood this weekend, or a half dozen people who don’t know they had sex with J.D. Oxblood this weekend, depending on your point of view. Murray, I told you, that’s confectioner’s sugar, it’s Monday morning, and you need to get the hell out of my bathtub. Anita, you can stop acting drunk, it’s over. Let me call you a car, and yes, I’ll call you. Purrhaps. Scotty, I meant everything I said and at least half of what we did, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still be friends.

What does it take to survive the Sixth Annual New York Burlesque Festival? Comfortable shoes, Trojan Magnums, a strong stomach, a trick liver, and a ton of cocaine. And remember, ladies and gentlemen, the great Hunter S. Thompson himself declared the experiment of Gonzo Journalism a failure, so don’t blame me for not posting each chapter the morning after… my entire team of monkeys has been working round the clock to put this together for the slackers and fools who didn’t make it to any of the events their damn selves, so bite me.

Angie, thank you. I will never be the same. Ok, enough horsing around, let’s get to the tits.

The following coverage is in three chapters. The first two, as promised, are the most exhaustive coverage of the festival you’ll find anywhere. I’ve managed to recap—for better or for worse—every performer from Friday and Saturday night. Sunday is more of a whitewash, because by the time you get there you’ll be half as worn out as I was, and Thursday I’ve decided to skip; it’s enough already.

First things first: Big up to Jen Gapay at Thirsty Girl Productions for scoring Cultural Capitol free press passes for Thursday and Saturday—saved us some bucks, girl, and we no-budget losers who put the “free” back in “free press” appreciate that. And massive thanks to everyone who contributed coverage, commentary, and photos to the creation of this piece; Dionysus knows I can’t be in two places at once. Big thanks to Willy G, DJ 13, Jane Smith, T-Bone Caruthers, and everyone at CC.