Nightlife » Music

Electrohoney’s ride on "The Electric Highway" debuts at the XL NYC

by JC Alvarez
Monday Apr 1, 2013
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The 80’s came alive at the XL Nightclub & Cabaret -┬áriding along "The Electric Highway" passengers embarked on a futurist travel to the distant New New York of 2092. On this nihilist view of the future, club kids enter into specialized higher education to achieve their nightlife fabulosity. Transgendered individuals clone their "parts" to reach the desired level of "realness" (though your momma may not altogether approve), and the expectations for lead diva Sir Honey Davenport to become legendary is at the top of her list.

To celebrate the release of synth-band Electrohoney’s latest self-titled EP, the band made up of SteveX, Jesse Gray and lead singer Sir Honey Davenport have conceived an ambitious electro-rock opera that turned the familiar XL Nightclub dance floor into an interactive stage experience. Set to the original music, the narrative evolves the story of legend-in-the-making, Sir Honey Davenport. Like every aspiring star, the gender-illusionist/living art installation comes to the "Big City" riding on the Electric Highway.

Here in the year 2092, the New New York, nightlife of a hundred years ago is the stuff of myths and tall tales, and everyone jockeys for a position at the ball. With contemporary nightlife notables lending their credibility to the effort, Sir Honey Davenport reveals her story, with Jeremy Xtravaganza of the House of Xtravaganza, Deja Davenport and Sherry Vine all contributing their parts on this musical journey.


An 80’s EDM Flashback

From the stage, Honey called this project "a labor of love and a long time coming." The collaborative efforts of the artist and instrumentalist form the band Electrohoney, and including SteveX and Jesse Gray, deliver a revitalized view of the nostalgic synth-sounds of the 80’s. With Act 1’s "Jet to Dance" the exuberance of the 80’s pop is made contemporary, and the track "Transsexual" lyrically delivers the familiar angst of Euro-pop/rock. It’s all very familiar, especially if you lived it. Tracks such as "Found It Out" which fuse the electronic dance vibe of today will undoubtedly appeal to the thriving Top 40 inspired dance crowd.

The 80’s gave the public its first taste of the EDM revolution. Recently emerging bands and artists, including the gay club land boy-band Undercover and the currently on the scene retro-revivalist duo Parralox have successfully found heart in the 80’s sound. These bands take more than a cue from artists like Thompson Twins, Flock of Seagulls and Depeche Mode, but when there’s an entire generation (or two) that hasn’t regaled to these synth-beats, what’s old is new again.

"The Electric Highway" as performed by Electrohoney will have an audience, but perhaps the show’s format would have benefitted from a more practical or conducive space. Technical issues that could have been avoided plagued the performance, but it was still a fearless attempt to turn the XL Cabaret into a multi-platform arena set suitable for a rock concert.

The technology that was installed by the original tech-team that fabricated the XL’s state-of-the-art lighting display and sound have proven that it is possible, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case on the premiere ride on the "The Electric Highway".


High Voltage

When a show is specifically all about the music, it’s important that the music reads through - KiKi and witty quips and all. What Electrohoney and company deliver with their musical rock-opera is a joyful reminder of the creativity that once thrived on the Lower East Side’s underground club scene of the 80’s, which disappeared into the mass consumer-driven 90’s, and totally vanished during the height of the AIDS epidemic.

Sir Honey Davenport along with band mates SteveX and Jesse Gray, revisit a lost art that was an innate part of the drag culture that has been all but lost in today’s mainstream drag race. For that, we must raise our hands and give praise. A wealth of gratitude to the XL Cabaret for strategically thinking out-of-the-box (on a Friday night), for "The Electric Highway" and its cast for taking us on the trip, and especially Electrohoney and Sir Honey Davenport for making it - microphone feedback and all - a journey worth taking.

Here is hoping the next time power is restored to "The Electric Highway" the MTA gets called in. Audiences will pay the additional Metrocard fee for this ride.

Electrohoney’s self-titled EP, "Electrohoney" featuring music from "The Electric Highway" is now available on iTunes. You can learn more about Electrohoney by visiting the band’s website at www.electrohoney.com.


Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".

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