Times have changed. Maybe, just maybe, the new all-American male is a chubby, cherub-faced bartender covered in tattoos and sporting the classic white-boy 'fro. Zombie Lounge bartender Patrick Floyd figured it was worth a shot when he attended an audition for a TBS reality show, held at Gordon Biersch in Mission Valley.
"The place was full of douche bags, pretty college boys and whatever, so I was telling the guy that interviewed me there's no way they wanted to pick my chubby ass," said Floyd. "But he kept saying, "No, you're perfect.' Then they started calling a few weeks later. I thought they were just trying to make me feel good about being a fat dude with this beard and crazy hair."
Insurance papers were mailed and formal arrangements made, but Floyd was still skeptical when producers told him to arrange three and a half weeks off work and drive to Burbank to start work on the show.
For the first episode, Floyd and other participants were filmed saying goodbye to their girlfriends. Then, he explained, "they showed us... what appeared to be a quarter-million dollars in a briefcase [and] asked me what I'd do for it. I said "Anything.'
"They asked me if I'd dress up like a girl, and I said, "Whatever.'"
At that moment, a curtain was pulled back to reveal a full-service salon. Floyd and his fellow male contestants would indeed soon be dragged.
"They waxed my eyebrows, which hurt like a bitch," Floyd said, "but I got off easy. Since I'm covered in tattoos they realized they'd have to cover me on camera anyway, so I didn't get the full treatment. Some of those guys got everything waxed and one guy had a really bad allergic reaction to it. He swelled up and turned red-they were throwing buckets of water on him.
"At the end, they had this stupid little fashion show with Morgan Fairchild, some basketball player-I dunno who the hell he was-and some other chick I think I've seen on TV before or something as some pseudo-celebrity judges. I wasn't allowed to see myself until just before I went onstage, and then they showed me to a mirror and asked what I thought. I laughed a little bit, not because I looked so stupid but just at thinking what a stupid fucking idea for a TV show this was.
"Morgan Fairchild was really nice and told me I looked beautiful, and I'm thinking, "No I don't-I look like Chris Farley dressed up as Linda Tripp.' She noticed I was a redhead and asked if it was natural, so I told her, "Yeah, the carpet matches the drapes.' The basketball player was supposed to be like Simon or something and told me I was an ugly woman, and I'm just like "Yeah, OK, dude, whatever.'"
Floyd says some of the contestants' dialogue with the judges was scripted, and that producers knew ahead of time who would go on to the next round. So it came as no surprise when Floyd was cut after the first day (along with allergic-reaction boy).
"I found out later that the show is really called He's a Lady and... [I'd be] sitting around a house with a bunch of dudes dressed up as chicks, doing girl stuff like getting our nails done and planning weddings and shit," Floyd explained. "So I'm lucky I got kicked off when I did."
Floyd said all contestants received $3,000 for their troubles (save for the quarter-mil winner). "I'm still waiting for that check in the mail," he said.
He's a Lady premieres on TBS Oct. 12. Floyd is scheduled to appear on Oprah Sept. 21 to discuss his experience on bad TV-a gig that thrills his mother, who's a "big Oprah fan."
"She told me I should shave and get a haircut. She said, "You never know who could be watching-you might be the next Mel Gibson,'"
The Zombie Lounge (3519 El Cajon Blvd. in City Heights) is undergoing renovation and has applied for a cabaret license, hoping to book live music in the future.
Hot gay Asian art site!
When a friend told me he'd spent a recent Sunday evening at flamboyant Hillcrest gay bar The Brass Rail watching live bands, checking out "crazy art" and getting served sushi by "hot Asian chicks," I initially just figured he forgot to take his insulin. But, alas, truth is often stranger than fiction, and the bar is indeed hosting such an event one Sunday a month.
Tokyo Tokyo premiered Aug. 22 and featured video and visuals by Bacoka, graffiti art and painting by Joe Tejada, photography by Crystal Gionzales, DJs Moscow Sputnik, NYC's Sir Toxic Boi, British turntablist Dr. Indulgent and a live performance by Aria of influence.
The multimedia event is run by Urban Point Productions, a new company started by artistically minded associates Manny Calzada, Alex Valdivia and Becky Bacoka. The trio hail from L.A., New York and San Diego, respectively, and say San Diego's ripe territory for an event like theirs.
"There's so much great art and music out there that needs an outlet, and we want to provide that outlet," said Calzada, a veteran DJ who has spun in the L.A. club circuit as the aforementioned Moscow Sputnik. He says the event will not only feature DJs and electronic music, but also live bands spanning all genres-plus photography exhibits, graffiti, avante-garde film and more. It's all wrapped in a vaguely Japanese ambience-a sort of Andy Warhol vs. Ultraman.
The next event, slated for Sept. 19, will feature more turntablists and artists, with performances by L.A. DJ duo Electro Boobies and avant-erotic local act Maiden Taiwan.
Interested artists should check out urbanpointproduction.tripod.com or e-mail email@example.com, attn: Alx Voxx.
San Diego's hip-hop dance troupe Culture Shock is celebrating the one-year anniversary of their Old Town location. Started in 1992, the group has spread to more than a dozen cities, including New York, L.A., Toronto, Paris and London. The nonprofit organization will offer free dance classes in hip-hop, pop-locking, break dancing, jazz, Brazilian and belly dance (all levels) from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 25. www.cultureshockdancecenter.com or 619-299-2110.
On their recent European tour, Kill Me Tomorrow guitarist Dan Wise made pals with a Puerto Rican musician named Callie Rodriguez. On Sept. 22 at the Whistlestop, they'll join together to play some crazy experimental avant-garde shit that is guaranteed to fry the brains of nearby inebriates.
Singer-songwriter Peter Bolland will produce Brucefest: A Tribute to the Songs of Bruce Springsteen at Dizzy's, Sept. 16. A host of local talent will tackle the Boss' material, including Gregory Page's rendition of "Born in the USA," Lisa Sanders' "Fire" and Chuck Perrin's "Hungry Heart," to name just a few.
Anisha Gwynn, daughter of basball legend Tony Gywnn, recently scored some impressive airplay, landing a No. 3 hit on Billboard's Hot Singles chart. She embarks on her first major U.S. tour this month alongside the reunited New Edition and Mario Wynans.
Rayleigh Scattering is looking for a new drummer. Interested parties can contact vocalist Kirk Nelson at kirk@rayleigh
scattering.com. Meantime, current sticksman Matt Pawluk will play with the band at the Rock the Walk AIDS benefit at the Casbah Sept. 24 and a farewell show Oct. 8 at the Honeybee Hive. Rock the Walk is a cool fundraiser organized by a few of the city's top bands. It's a mere $10, with door prizes, a raffle for an Ibanez Artcore Hollowbody electric guitar, free condoms and lube. All the money goes to HIV/AIDS research in San Diego. Along with Rayleigh Scattering, The After Party, The Q, Buckfast Superbee and Velvet Tongue will perform. We encourage sexually active people with a conscience-or even asexual half-humans with a guilt complex-to show up for support.
The Album Leaf's "Eastern Glow," will be featured on an upcoming edition of Fox-TV's The OC.
Snoop Dog is currently touring with San Diego's DJ Jam at the turntables.
Gramfest, the annual tribute to country-rock bad-boy Gram Parsons, will be held at the Hi Desert Playhouse in Joshua Tree Oct. 1-2. Locals Tim Flannery, Ray Brandes, The Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash and Mark Neill & The Unknowns will play alongside Victoria Williams, Honky Tonk Train and others. Neill scored a coup recently when he produced the Old 97s' new album, Drag it Up, at his Soil of the South Studio.
Anita Baker was spotted at Macy's downtown earlier this month when locals Dave & Stellita performed inside the store. Probably not coincidentally, local session bassist Nathan East turns up on Baker's latest disc You're My Everything
On Sept. 21, Reeve Oliver drops their self-titled debut album on Militia Records. They'll play a sneak-preview in-store at M-Theory Records on Sept. 20 and a full-on show on Sept. 24 at Soma (the band signed its record deal last June on Soma's stage). The band has also completed a video for the album's lead track, "I Want Burns," which includes a cameo from Tony Hawk. That Sept. 24 Soma show will also double as a CD-release party for the Parker Theory's new EP, One Purpose, One Destination.
P.O.D. guitarist John Truby is featured in the new book Between the Strings: The Secret Lives of Guitars.
City College jazz radio station KSDS has secured a grant from Cox Communications to help with its Jazz Alive concert series. KSDS has promoted the series, held at the campus' Saville Theatre for the past 27 years.
Reminder: vote for your favorite local bands for this year's San Diego Music Awards. www.sd musicawards.com.