Dirty dancing

A fitting opening for 'Inappropriate Touching'
By GEORGIANA COHEN  |  February 5, 2008

The exhibit is called “Inappropriate Touching,” and whether you wanted it or not, that’s what you got at the packed opening reception last Friday at the Washington Street Art Center, a collective of artists’ studios off the beaten path at 321 Washington Street in Somerville. A night of bawdy dance music was on tap, organized by Center member Sarah Schoemann, and the awkward intimacy of the crowd — as well as the blurred boundaries between performer and spectator — echoed the art on the walls.

The transition from the art show, which runs through February 24, to the basement show was quick and seamless, with less wine and cheese than 40s and sleaze. DJ Area D, known for Musk dance nights at the Midway Café, set the mood, spinning “dirty disco” by the likes of Donna Summer and Dennis Coffey. Real Life Time Machines put on a somewhat overwrought opening set of thrashy space punk kicked off by drummer Chico Suavé stripping down to his underwear and a gorilla mask. The frenetic performance ended with the guitarist and the keyboardist writhing on top of each other as otherwise-shrieking lead singer Eli Osheyack looked on disinterestedly.

Brooklyn’s Angela, featuring Boston ex-pats Rori Hanson and Christopher Rand, got things started with their foul and flirty cuts. As they sang and gyrated to pre-programmed dance tracks, the crowd humped and bounced along to samples from Kris Kross and lyrics like “Give me the milk of the dick I nurse.”

The crowd had thinned somewhat by the time Plunge into Death took the stage, but the energy remained high. These local electronic-pop freaks threw a filthy ’80s-infused dance party, complete with tiger-print spandex and aerobics. Shortly after their cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” a mini mosh pit erupted.

By the end of the evening, some of the art hung askew, victimized by crowd and musicians alike. The pickle jar was also empty — but let's not go there.

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