THE ISOTONERS: AN EVENING BY THE BIJOU

Part 1 of the
LIVE From the East Village!!!

The Club
February 20 - 22, 2004
Friday & Saturday 10:00pm
Sunday 5:30pm



Reviewing The Isotoners in a recent appearance at The Slipper Room, Time Out (Kevin Wolfe) wrote, "New York's gay antifolk satirists the Isotoners are, sexuality notwithstanding, prime candidates for Queer Eye makeovers. These gents have an adorably slovenly sartorial sense that's more Bay Ridge realness than pret-a-Chelsea; one can imagine the Fab Five forcing this hirsute quartet to trade their rock T-shirts for couture, ukuleles for vocoders, and licentiousness for cocktail politesse. But thankfully, the kinks that have made the Isotoners a downtown cult phenomenon appear thoroughly unironable….During their freewheeling gigs, the Isotoners' sharply humorous observations are framed by sweet, sentimental pop arrangements that ensure this is no joke band. Songs about L-train sodomy (the chugging 'Subway Love'), teen-runaways-turned-runway-stars ('Troubled Teen Cherie') and low-expectation trysts ('Rebound Baby') somehow sneak notes of poignancy into the group's jocular mien." There was also praise for the supporting acts: "Add videographer Brendan Toner's skits (look for the band's re-creation of Carrie) and guest characters such as Soce the Elemental Wizard (don't ask), and the Isotoners are just too fab to be missed.

Next Magazine (Seen and Heard) has described The Isotoners as "Four guys who sing sublimely sharp and silly punky/twangy songs about leather daddies, hot foreign waiters, sex on the L train, troubled teenaged girls--you know, all the stuff you can relate to."

The group has a dandy website at: www.theisotoners.com.

The evening, hosted by The O'Debra Twins, is to feature "some new songs and some classics." There will also be different guest artists each night, including Soce, The Elemental Wizard (a rapper, Friday) and Dirty Jesus (an all girl musical trio, Saturday and Sunday). Brendan Toner, a cabaret dance/multimedia artist, will appear in each show. There will be showings of short films by Mr. Toner and the Isotoners' new music video, "Roofiie Me," also by Mr. Toner

Last season, "Cookin' with the Isotoners" was the La MaMa debut of a new satirical gay cabaret punk band which had been gathering a devoted following since it sprouted in the East Village bars in 2002. The ensemble is four young endearing noodlers whose charm is in their unpolished musical style and the innocent satires of young gay life in their lyrics.



Clint Asay (guitar, vocals) and Ben Lerman (keyboard, vocals) met in 2001 as waiters at the Time Café. In early 2002, due largely to the acquisition of a friend's 4-track, they decided to set their sense of humor to music. (They wrote a song before going out one night.) About six months later, they played their first show at Sidewalk Café (at Sixth Street and Avenue A). In January 2003, having named themselves The Isotoners (for no particular reason; it sounded funny and reflected a campy sensibility), they added accordianist James Andralis (their favorite bartender) and drummer Bryce Edwards (who had been guitarist and vocalist of the band Boy Crazy). Edwards is the only "band" musician in the bunch.

Their musical style evolved into what you would rightly call gay cabaret-punk. They play songs about dating foreign men, rebellious teenagers with a penchant for fashion, and having sex while commuting. Their material is novelty songs and parodies, all written by the band, but mostly by Lerman and Asay, with musical input from the rest of the quartet. Their most popular song so far is "Subway Love," about finding love in mass transit. There is another song about dating foreign waiters, with a chorus that goes: "You are a love refugee/You're in my arms illegally/you fucked up and now I'm having you deported." In a parody of the hobo classic "Big Rock Candy Mountain," they sing: "In the Big Gay Paradise Valley/The men are hot as hell/And everyone gets photographed/By David LaChapelle."

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