Music & Clubs

Mickey Avalon

THICK-SKINNED: Mickey Avalon is a self-styled 'glam rap star.' Photograph by Kris Krug

MICKEY AVALON took a page out of Eminem's playbook when he recorded his solo self-titled debut album in 2006. The difference is that when Avalon works out his demons, there isn't a clear line between fantasy and reality as there is with Eminem. It's also less clear where the line between humor and self-parody vs. dark autobiographical admissions is. Maybe that's because Avalon has lived a harder life. He was a heroin addict, a gay male prostitute and survived on the streets of Hollywood. He raps about all this in the most over-the-top ways possible. It's clever and funny, but it's honest, too. Brutally honest. It's not often that you hear a rapper bounce back and forth between outright boastfulness and self-deprecation—except, again, for Eminem.

He's got a simple flow, no fancy tricks, just old-school rhythms, but the beats are heavily inspired by '80s synth-pop, which all seems oddly appropriate for his dirty lyrics. He calls himself a "glam rap star" which makes sense considering that he looks nothing like a rapper. He lives and breathes rock & roll excess on and offstage. It's obvious that he wants to shock with his hyper-sexual chants and uncomfortable, painful life story, which is what people love and hate about him. Maybe he thinks it's all funny. Maybe he thinks it's terrible. Or maybe a little of both. Avalon has a thick skin and isn't letting on where he's coming from, even when he's rapping about where he came from.

Avalon

Sunday, June 19

8pm; $20.


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