Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dig this crazy lounge lizard live

By Meredith Deliso

Say cheese!

On July 7, a taste of Vegas comes to Brooklyn, when the swankiest lounge singer in action, Richard Cheese, brings his corny, crooning act to the Music Hall of Williamsburg with his band, Lounge Against the Machine.

The alter-ego of Los Angeles-based comedian Mark Jonathan Davis, for the past several years, late-night TV favorite Cheese has been bringing plenty of it to nightclubs across the country, performing familiar tunes like “Baby Got Back” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday” but with swing, and, in the latter’s case, an unexpected bit of mambo as well.

Evoking a dirtier Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, or Dean Martin, Cheese pulls from the types of songs that he envisions being the standards of tomorrow from all genres – rock, rap, heavy metal, and pop. Don’t expect to hear “Anything Goes”; instead, Cheese is a fan of the unexpected. Fittingly, Britney Spears is a favorite (“Crazy” and “Toxic”), as is Radiohead (“Creep”) and Rage Against the Machine (“Guerilla Radio”), and, the one that put Cheese on the map, Nirvana, with “Rape Me.”

Sound cheesy? It sure is, but it also makes for great, kitschy entertainment. With his voice as cocky as it is smooth, Cheese is impeccably backed by his jazz trio of Bobby Ricotta on piano, Frank Feta on drums, and Billy Bleu on bass. In his tiger-striped tuxedo and slick hair, the singer is not the only one dressed up for the act. Fans have been known to be inspired literally and come to shows sporting cow costumes, as well as gigantic hats shaped by cheese wedges.

Those fans have helped propel Cheese to over 175,000 albums sold, among them his debut, 2000’s “Lounge Against The Machine,” as well as “Tuxicity,” “I’d Like A Virgin,” “Aperitif For Destruction,” and, most recently, “Viva La Vodka,” a live album which features such “classics” as 2 Live Crew’s “Me So Horny,” the Pussycat Dolls’ “Don’t Cha’,” and AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long.” Minus such throwbacks as AC/DC, the track lists on his albums reads like a “Now That’s What I Call Music” album (a look at “Lounge Against The Machine” is quite the blast from the past, for anyone tuned into contemporary radio circa 1999).

Going strong for nearly 10 years now with this material, from a total of eight albums to hundreds of performances world-wide, this will be the last time you can see Lounge Against the Machine play in New York. After this year, Davis is done touring with Lounge Against The Machine, partly due to stress on his vocal chords, and also to pursue other projects.

With a new lineup of Hawaiian songs, including the exotica album “Lavapalooza” slated for release next year, a whole new swinging act may be coming to Brooklyn. For now, don’t miss Richard Cheese & Lounge Against the Machine when they play the Music Hall of Williamsburg (66 North 6th St.) July 7 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35. For more information, call 718-486-5400.


Copyright © 2009 All rights reserved

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP