Stuffing Dollar Bills Between Boobs at Pumps Bar With Cult of Youth
Everyone has different preferences in strippers. Beverly likes the girl with blown out flower tattoos and cheap hair extensions who looks like a biker's girlfriend. Also: the pale, thin, red haired girl with a mole on her tiny ass. One friend likes the tattooed babe with the mohawk, and actually gets a lap dance from her, which he enjoys. Drummer Cory tells me he is an ass guy. "I think smaller breasts are beautiful, larger breasts are just fine...I like ass." It appears to be his lucky day.
I am at Pumps Bar in the culmination of many hours of after-partying with Cult of Youth, a goth band in the broadest, sloppiest, most catch-all sense of the word that cringes tastefully (and probably correctly) if you call them that. Everyone is having a good time, but it was not always a foregone conclusion that we would end up here. It took several hours of drinking beforehand.
Let's back up. We're at 285 Kent and Cult of Youth are playing a visceral set of their tough-to-categorize music. Some of the band's members have that "Hitler youth" haircut favored by industrial dudes everywhere, but their sound is more dark neo-folk. At times during the show, barefoot frontman Sean Ragon sounds like he could be singing an Irish drinking song, a suggestion to which he will later reply, "Well, I am from Boston." The post punk bass lines, dissonant chords and distorted climaxes balance out his warm singing and occasional screams. Like Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, it appeals to my gothic sensibilities without being specifically of the genre.
After the show, we mill around and decide where to go. I float the idea of Pumps, which is always a good idea when trying to jumpstart some fun with new friends. Bassist Jasper and his wife are immediately psyched. They don't often have Saturdays off and haven't been to Pumps in forever. Some of the other guys think it's cheesy. Instead, we decide to go to The Flat for a friends birthday and free drinks.
We arrive at The Flat, where dubstep music blares at an unpleasant volume (any). Jasper and his wife sit in the alcove located as far from the speakers as possible, and Jasper tells me the story of when he last went to Pumps 11 years ago. A friend of his from the band the Casualties had to make a quick stop before dropping him off at home after a wild night out. "I thought he was getting milk, but he was going to Pumps, and when we walked in, the music stopped. It was not cool. I actually don't remember much past that. I'm assuming he bought me drinks. It was terrifying."
Jasper's wife has her own strip club story. She says once, when she was in New Orleans, a friend bought her a lap dance. The stripper danced for the wrong person by mistake, a prude who didn't exactly appreciate it.