Art Rock

Tonight: Original Sin Burlesque at House of Blues

What's the secret of a good burlesque dance? Well, choreography, costumes, agility, flexibility and old-fashioned seductiveness all have their place, of course, but it would be a poor burlesque show indeed without the proper strip-worthy tunes.

Perhaps you can pick up a few pointers from tonight's featured performer Cardinal Cyn, said to be the finest burlesque dancer in the rootin'-tootin' town of Austin, Texas. Other than that, Rocks Off reached out to our buddy and tonight's DJ, Brett Koshkin - one of the men behind Boondocks' monthly Dirty Honey night - for his choice of tunes to lower your inhibitions and raise your blood pressure.

Bobby Blue Bland,
"St. James Infirmary"

"Not a Bland original (no pun intended) but an American standard that's been covered by everyone under the sun. A man walks into a bar, and while swilling hooch he tells the barkeep his story of finding his baby dead at the hospital. The difference with Bland's take is the key element of whiskey-doused sleaze - the song pretty much exudes everything a Burlesque dancer could ever need, and during the trombone solo, you can almost see the tassels swinging in your mind."

Roger & the Gypsies, "Pass the Hatchet"

"From the first thud of the kick drum, you know this one is gonna be a monster. A personal favorite that just makes you want to shake it no matter if you're a burlesque dancer or not. This song was the work of piano legend and New Orleans native Eddie Bo under the guise of Roger & the Gypsies. It achieved some minor success, most notably working its way onto the Desperado soundtrack."

Tousaint McCall, "Shimmy"

This mod instrumental classic came out of Shreveport, La., released on Ronn Records,  a sister label of Jewel Records, which left a large imprint on the world of blues and gospel music. 'Shimmy' was a regional hit, and I have no doubt this song has beckoned many a burlesque dancer to the stage."

The Martinis, "Hung Over"

"One that just simmers with enough oomph to warrant a scantily clad woman dancing around under a red light. I don't know a thing about the band besides they sound like they worshiped Booker T & the MGs."

Andre Williams, "Sweet Little Pussycat"

"The king of sleaze himself. If women are dancing in little to no clothing, Andre Williams is or was probably involved. A mostly instrumental song with interspersed sax lead and Williams doing what he does best: being a dirty bastard talking about those sweet little pussycats. The female chorus of 'Meow' is an extra nice touch."

8 p.m. tonight at House of Blues (Bronze Peacock Room), 1204 Caroline, 888-402-5837 or Midwest Monster and the PJ Flowers Band also perform. $10.

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray