So I dragged Michael to Joe's Pub on Saturday night to see everyone's favorite easy Earth Girl, Julie Brown. I was kind of embarrassed to even ask him to go and I was certain we'd be the only people in the audience. We got there about a half-hour before showtime and would you believe the line was stretched out long and far along Lafayette Street? (Naturally, the crowd could have easily doubled for one of Kathy Griffin's audiences.)
We quickly decided a table was in order and sat down to Smell the Glamour. Sure, Julie had simply dusted off those old backing tracks from the '80s and showed a couple of old clips on an occasionally uncooperative video projector above the stage, but that didn't stop the show from being a complete hoot. Looking sexy and fit as ever, Julie came flying out singing "I Like 'Em Big and Stupid" (from her classic 1984 EP, "Goddess in Progress," which is about to be reissued on CD!) and never looked back. Part stand-up, part audience participation (think boys in wigs during "Girl Fight Tonight!" from 1987's "Trapped in the Body of a White Girl") and part storytelling, it was easy to remember why Julie was one of the shining moments of '80s MTV. What's interesting (or perhaps surprising is the word I'm looking for) is that Julie really is a very talented pop songwriter. When I first heard her Madonna parodies from "Medusa: Dare to Be Truthful" (like "Happy Place") I remember thinking they were every bit as good as anything Madonna's ever released. On Saturday night she did the terminally infectious "Party in My Pants" and I still feel the same way. From there she launched into "Vague" -- complete with updated celebrities during the rap portion (who'd have thought Nicolette Sheridan would actually be in vogue again, though?). When she finished her crowd-pleasing encore of "The Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun" she was so excited that she came back out just to wave and announce that she didn't have anymore songs. (Truth be told she hadn't done "Earth Girls Are Easy," which happens to be one of my faves, but ...) Afterward she lapped up the "backstage" attention as she patiently posed for photos and signed CDs and DVDs. A fun night with a really funny lady. (Question: When is "Strip Mall" coming out on DVD???) Visit Julie's funny Web site here. and her Facebook here.