Defend Its Existence: David Johansen

By Chris Parker
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Feb. 2, 2011

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There’s never been anything charming or amusing about David Johnansen’s kitschy lounge-lizard alter-ego Buster Poindexter. His smirking covers of classic crooner standards were flatter and more grating than Saturday Night Live’s last half-hour of over-long one-note skits. Indeed, the entire persona would’ve been better as a medley and be done with it. But that’s the thing—Johansen’s less a musician than a performer. He’s not wedded to the color of the outfit just the role he’s playing. Anyone who’s seen him fronting the New York Dolls can attest to Johansen’s showmanship, electrifying the stage with his charisma and energy like a grimier, other-side-of-the-tracks Mick Jagger. Dovetailing with O’ Brother, Johansen opened the millennium in the new guise of gruff, weathered country-blues singer. If it still sounds a little put on, it’s really in his wheelhouse vocally (and chronologically), succeeding on the spunky verve and magnetism he’s always emanated.

Thurs., Feb. 3, 8pm. $25-$40. With Ben Arnold. Sellersville Theatre, 24 W. Temple Ave., Sellersville. 215.257.5808.

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