Tag Archives: freak

Tourist in My Backyard: Venice Beach Freak Show

21 Aug

The Venice Beach Freak Show is the kind of attraction you never pay to see when you’re a Southern Californian because all of Venice is a freak show, really. But last week I hosted two lovely Kiwi couchsurfers and when we walked the famous boardwalk and saw the two-headed turtles outside the freak show, the MC lured us in with promises of even freakier animals and objects inside. What was five bucks when it came to having this quirky Venice experience?

When we walked inside two sideshow performers were just finishing up their act and we looked over right as the man was pulling a sword out of his throat.  A young boy was escorted out because he almost fainted and since the next show began in twelve minutes we decided to work our way up to it.

We turned left for the museum of freaky artifacts and animals and saw a live two-tailed iguana in a cage at the entrance. The woman behind the counter introduced us to her five-legged dog and told us he was just featured on an episode of the Dog Whisperer. She pulled out jar after jar of of two-headed pigs with other anomalies: five ears, five legs, two separate bodies conjoined at the head, etc.

The back of the room had skeletons of conjoined human twins and of the mythical Chuppacabra. There were glass cases with an eerie cycloptic dog, the skeletons of bizarre humanistic-alien-looking sea animals, a two-headed goat, a two-headed calf and other taxidermied animals.

We braced ourselves and grabbed our cameras when the freak-show began. The male-female duo took turns performing their unique acts. The woman sat in an electric chair,  showed off her double jointed arms and elbows and breathed fire. The man swallowed a sword and put a hook through his nose and out his mouth. I cringed, I gagged but it was all good fun. Rosa, the Kiwi, sat right in the middle of the action and commented later that the male performer’s skin looked waxy. He reminded me of gothic David Bowie. Do you see it?

Peaches @ Freak City

9 Sep

Peaches made her grand entrance to the DJ Extravaganza Festival at Freak City in Hollywood dressed in a nude body suit adorned with a coat of breasts – complete with dark areolas and Barbie doll heads for nipples.

The notorious ‘glam-shock’ headliner is known for her sexually explicit lyrics and the bulbous growths on her shoulders were tame in comparison to her Fatherfucker,Impeach My Bush, and I Feel Cream album titles.

Though the crowd had already been dancing to the electro-filled sets of BLOK, Tearist, Cherie Lily, and Vice Cooler for just under two hours, they summoned their remaining energy and rocked even harder when Peaches took the stage.

The 44-year-old performer, whose real name is Merrill Beth Nisker, teased her fans throughout the show by alternating performances of her cult-like hits such as “Boys Wanna Be Her” and “Talk to Me” with DJ sets– a move that may have disappointed her die-hard fans.

Consequently, Peaches relied heavily on outlandish gimmicks and her dancers to supplement the action while she tended to her turntables. After several wardrobe changes, one of the dancers climbed atop the table onstage and took a chainsaw to her metal chastity belt, sending sparks flying everywhere while Peaches cheered in the background.

When she did leave the DJ table, she’d shake up a bottle of champagne and douse the audience before taking a few swigs out of the bottle. At one point, she pulled a guy dressed in an Alien costume, from the Alien vs. Predator movies, onstage, to serenade him and make out with his mask.

It was a night filled with absurdity, sex, and rock n’ roll, and Freak City couldn’t have been a more perfect venue. It’s one of those places that instantly transports you to a different state of mind with its neon graffiti, dark corridors, and David Bowie-meets-Fresh Prince vibe.

In the early morning hours the DJ Extravaganza Festival came to its close, but the dance party and debauchery that ensued throughout the night would have made the Club Kids of the 90s proud. The night culminated with Peaches last song, “Fuck The Pain Away” and everyone belted out its iconic line: “suckin’ on my titties like you wantin’ me, callin’ me all the time…” and beaming smiles were seen all around.

If you didn’t leave the show panting, covered in cigarette smoke, sweat, or champagne then something was seriously wrong with you. Peaches, along with the rock gods, would have been disappointed.

(Originally published in  OC Music Magazine)

%d bloggers like this: