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Sleazefest remembered

The greatest of sleaze 

Everybody, it seems, has a favorite Sleazefest memory. Now in its 11th year at Local 506, Chapel Hill's annual party/rock bacchanalia has that effect on folks. Dave Robertson, the former owner of Local 506 and co-coordinator of this year's fest with Mary Huff of sleazewill ambassadors Southern Culture on the Skids, remains amazed by the night that featured Andy G. and the Roller Kings, Davie Allan and the late Ronnie Dawson. "Ronnie Dawson showed up, and it was hot as hell," as Robertson remembers it. "His wife was worried that it was too hot, but he said, 'I'll just play in shorts and a T-shirt.' And he did." Huff and bandmate Dave Hartman break up as they recount the story of the male stripper who crashed the party dressed as a policeman the year after Sleazefest was almost shut down by the fire marshal, and Southern Culture guitarist Rick Miller fondly recalls the banana pudding wrestling and a pinata filled with, um, marital aids.

Of course, memories are also collected in the crowd, not just from behind the bar or on stage. One of veteran Sleazefest attendee Michael Pemberton's most cherished moments stems from a trivia contest in which winners picked their prize from a box of assorted sex toys. When two winners, a rather large fella and a thin, wiry guy, both grabbed for the same butt plug, conflict ensued and the latter challenged the former to arm wrestle for the prize. "When he refused," recalls Pemberton, "the skinny guy grabbed the mic and asked him, ´Are you so much of a pussy that you won't arm wrestle a 120-pound man for a butt plug?' That sentence has made me laugh for over eight years now."

For Lisa Bachelder, who's survived eight Sleazefests, it's the overall feel of the event, as summarized in an article she wrote for The Music Monitor several years ago: "I hesitate to even call the rarified gas, ether, WHATEVER, that exists inside Local 506 during Sleazefest 'air.' Rather, it's an almost visible and certainly palpable miasma of sweat and beer and cigarettes and desire. A 'funk' if you will. Whatever it is, it's thirst making and sweat producing (and addictive)."

Sleazefest 2004 promises ample opportunity for memory making, with over 40 acts spread across three nights and three stages. (The neighboring Carolina Sports Bar and The Cave will once again supplement Local 506's big top.) This will be new Local 506 owner Glenn Boothe's first Sleazefest, but he has the anticipation of a 10-year vet and is thrilled about getting to see The Fleshtones again. "I haven't seen them since the old-old Cat's Cradle, but their smokin' cover of Spirit's "I've Got a Line on You" that night embedded that song in my head ever since. Even when I hear the original now, I can visualize Peter Zaremba shaking the maracas." Huff can't wait for her current favorite band, Kentucky's Bo Deco. "They put you in a boogie trance" is all she can say. (Be careful, though, because a hypnotic state can be a little risky at Sleazefest. Next thing you know, you're in the go-go cage clucking like a chicken.) Robertson is excited about Sunday night's local showcase, featuring Valiant Thor, The Moaners, Chrome Plated Apostles and others. And it seems that everybody is looking forward to the Alaskan Pirate and His Salty Seamen, perhaps the most skilled practitioners of "gar!" rock in today's burgeoning buccaneer music scene. So there you go: There's a good chance that this year's treasured Sleazefest memory will involve an eye patch and/or a scabbard.

Sleazefest is Friday, Aug. 20 through Sunday, Aug. 22. For bands, times, history and locations, see www.sleazefest.com/sleaze/index.html .

Friday, Aug. 20
Doors at 4 p.m., showtime 5 p.m.
Local 506

  • Southern Culture on the Skids
  • The Fleshtones
  • The Woggles
  • Dexter Romweber
  • The Preacher's Kids
  • Mondo Topless
  • Jimmy & the Teasers
  • Kung Flude
  • The Blind Pharaohs

    Carolina Sports Bar

  • Dave Quick & Friends
  • The Alaskan Pirate and His Salty Seamen

    The Cave

  • The Labiators
  • Red Hot Poker Dots
  • Ghostwriter
  • The Malamondos

    Saturday, Aug. 21
    Doors at 4 p.m., showtime 5 p.m.
    Local 506

  • Sons of Hercules
  • The Swingin' Neckbreakers
  • Nine Pound Hammer
  • Bo Deco
  • ANTiSEEN
  • The Olympic Ass-Kicking Team with Terry Anderson
  • Bleed
  • Geraldine
  • Snatches of Pink

    Carolina Sports Bar

  • Red Hot Poker Dots
  • Thunderosa
  • Sparrow Point

    The Cave

  • The Blind Pharaohs
  • Speed Crazy
  • The Man
  • The Alaskan Pirate and His Salty Seamen

    Sunday, Aug. 22
    Party starts at 6 p.m.
    Local 506

  • The Moaners
  • Chrome Plated Apostles
  • Fake Swedish
  • Valiant Thor

    Carolina Sports Bar

  • Ghostwriter
  • TCB

    The Cave

  • The Straight 8s
  • Kitty Box & the Jonnys
  • Dom Casual
  • Crazy Hearse
    • Sleazefest remembered

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