Warped and stripped 

Little punk kids

I have come to the sudden profound realization that punk rock is not, in fact, dead — it’s just living at its parents’ house in Birmingham.

This astute deduction occurred to me after a day of scholarly, impartial anthropological study at the annual Warped Tour, the all-day outdoor punk-music and extreme-sports extravaganza. This baby never fails to draw the little punk-rock kids out of the woodwork — and I do mean kids. The average age of a Warped Tour fan seems to have consistently declined over the past few years, to the point where the majority of the crowd have to leave early because it’s a "school night."

Yes, this sprightly crowd of the Generation Y contingent of neo-punk rock, decked in Blink 182 baby Ts and bondage bracelets purchased at Hot Topic on their mother’s stolen credit card, were all naught but an inebriated twinkle in their parents’ eyes while Sid was beating the living shit out of Nancy. In fact, Graham Beck of She Said Yes, who is all of 21 years old, even made the following comment when he gazed out upon the sea of white, middle-class suburban youth: "Damn. I feel old." Similar sentiments were echoed by Web developer/secret ninja of death Matt Rose, Matt Naas, Kelly Jacobson and Denise Gitre. However, we were all enormously charmed by the elder punk couple who brought along their very young son whose hair was shorn in a Mohawk. He even flashed us the devil sign and chirped "I like being punk wock." Awww!

Taking a cue from Ford Focus’ headlining sponsorship of the DEMF, GM signed on as a title sponsor of the Warped Tour, in order to promote the soon-to-be-released Pontiac Vibe. There were a few Vibes on site, which instantly became makeshift couches for the swarms of kids who climbed, leaned and lounged all over them. The Vibe itself looks way too much like a mini SUV to be driven by some surly kid with three safety pins protruding from his eyebrow. Somehow I just can’t see a NOFX bumper sticker on the back of that baby, and besides, I bet about half of the crowd wasn’t even old enough to drive yet.

At one point I was relieved to find a crowd of post-pubescents, and approached a burly guy with a shaved head and arms full of ink to give him a flyer for Drag Strip. In classic ostentatious punk-rock style, he gave me his best well-rehearsed sneer and threw the flier on the ground with fervor, growing "Fuck you and your flyers too!"

Oooh, it looks like the big mean punk wock man was a widdle bit cwanky — maybe he needs a nap and a cookie-wookie? Or maybe just a hug. It’s OK, man, really. I’m here if you need to talk about your feelings.


So, to hell with the Dream Cruise and spending hours in gridlock on Woodward, surrounded by bare-chested, pot-bellied, sunburned men clutching cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon, and by one too many souped-up Camaros. Anyone who was in the know ventured much farther down Woodward (you know, south of Eight Mile Road where all the cruisers are afraid to go) to the Magic Stick for the absolutely stupendous Drag Strip, a psychobilly blowout complete with a classic burlesque striptease. The bands were flawless, the beers were cold and the girlies were hotter than Hades in the middle of August — and there’s no doubt people will be talking about this show for months to come. Extra special mad props to Stick promotions guru Anthony Morrow for cooking up the idea, and to Lisa Wright of Spag Industries for coordinating the burlesque performances. And what performances they were — pasties and dollar bills and naughty garter belts and oh, my! The sassy, sex-a-licious performers included Buttercup (aka Danielle Arsenal of Crud bikini fame), Goldie Adore, Ms. P. Kaboo, Candy Sprinkles, and lil ol’ me, performing as Allie Kat and Rita LaWrench. The Great Popini also did his magician act, where he made his beautiful assistant Jill’s top disappear. The ultra-fabuloso divas of London Calling hair salon did a killer job on classic pinup girl makeup and hair, while DJ Top Kat and DJ SPAG kept the hot tunes spinning and played classic burlesque films featuring Bettie Page and Tempest Storm. The Missing Links and the Intoxicats opened up a few cans of whupass onstage, while the zany guys from Psycho Charger performed in their infamous Saran Wrap/bubble-wrap diapers.

Spotted in the mix: Christopher Jaski, John Cottos, photographer Lewis "Big Lew" Dennison, statuesque diva Brenda Baxley, City Club muralist and eccentric-about-town Jeremy Harvey, Wayne and Julie Pritchard, Bill Alton and Aimee Schmidt, and a veritable mother lode of dreamy, drool-inducing boys including Gino Fanelli, Marcel Nistor, Damian Ward, and the fiery-haired Johnny Ominous from DangerVille. Incidentally, DangerVille’s sultry upright bass player Delilah DeWylde came slinking onstage to perform a perfectly campy ’50s striptease, only to wow every single person in the place when she completed the tease and hopped up onstage in her vintage lingerie and commenced slapping her bass with vigor. I’m betting many a man in the audience was wishing he was that bass — but you’re out of luck, fellas, since Ms. DeWylde recently became engaged to her longtime beau and the Ville’s drummer, Lee Harvey Biltwell. So will this make her Delilah Biltwell? Also, belated birthday wishes go out to the band’s front man Danger who was celebrating a birthday that evening, but didn’t want anyone to know — perhaps because a chorus of "Happy Birthday to Danger" just doesn’t sound right? Birthday wishes also go out to the diva of soap, Lady Jvar of 5th Element herbal beauty products.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I have to finish removing dollar bills from my undies.

Sarah Klein has got cat class and cat style. Send crumpled dollar bills, hot gossip or desperate please for attention to [email protected], or call the tip line at 313-962-5281. Dial 8056 and press

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