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The debauched Sleazefest West festival brings punk and pasties together

Wednesday, Feb 13 2002
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For fans of wild rock 'n' roll you can watch in a G-string, an event like Sleazefest is heaven. Founded in 1993 by Rick Miller, the kitsch-loving frontman for North Carolina's Southern Culture on the Skids, Sleazefest began as a weekend bender of broken blues, scrappy rock, B-movies, barbecue, and horn-dog attitude. After almost a decade of Southern-style debauchery at a little Chapel Hill club called the Local 506, the event lost its home last year and was forced to slink our way as Sleazefest West.

The first edition of Sleazefest West is basically the same animal as its country cousin -- minus the breastsploitation flicks. But don't worry: There'll be plenty of go-go dancing, drunken reveling, and trash talking, as well as the crowning of the King and Queen of Sleaze. Beyond the spectacle of scantily clad belchers, though, the real reason to attend the event will be the music. Over two dozen bands will contribute to the three-day-and-night affair, which is sure to be a true rock 'n' roll endurance test.

While acts such as the BellRays, Dead Moon, and the Woggles may bring fan armies out in full force, there are plenty of smaller names on the bill worth checking out as well. On Friday Alabama's Immortal Lee County Killers II offer their turbulent take on Delta blues; the following day, Throw Rag tosses down its spastic, greasy rockabilly, and the Greenhornes throw out go-go garage dance numbers. On Sunday local act Killer's Kiss offers hip-shaking action via punked-up '50s sounds, while the Dogs -- a Detroit trio that made loud and sludgy records in the mid-'70s -- return to the stage after a long hiatus.

In the past, fans craving a bender of this nature had to travel to Nevada for the Vegas Shakedown or head all the way to Chapel Hill. Now, San Francisco has a debauched festival to call its own, and punk and pasties have a perfect reason to stick together.

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Jennifer Maerz

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