Navel Gazing

Navel Gazing

Liliana Lovell opened her New York Coyote Ugly Saloon at 24, an age at which most are still puking patrons rather than bar entrepreneurs. Now Lovell thinks the Big D may be the next perfect spot to "get ugly."

"What I liked about Deep Ellum," Lovell says, "people love music, people like to drink and there's nothing like the Coyote there."

To document this pop-culture phenomenon, Full Frontal deployed a special team: Bella and Kitty, secure in the skills they acquired learning to strip for their men ("Working Girls," November 7). Rather than give second-hand info, we'll let them tell you...

Waiting is the hardest part: As we approached the tryouts last Sunday, our dreams of being ass-shaking bartenders began to dim as we gazed at the dazzling queue of exposed navels. We doubted our spunk, our figures and our lack of exposure to the genre of music using vocabulary such as "nookie" and "cherry pie."

Bella: Besides feeling like Ms. Stay-Puft, the young, pulchritudinous mass fondly reminded me of my misspent youth.

Kitty: There's no way my embroidered Coors western shirt made up for my white-ass stomach. Note to self: not prime location for scrutinizing my own body.

Boot scootin' boogie: We followed choreographer and original Coyote, Jacqui Squatriglia, and learned to Coyote clog in time to "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." Lovell, whose clubs are popping up in Atlanta, New Orleans and Las Vegas, made a trip to Dallas to get our local club up and running. She's tough, smart and known for being the best damn bartender in NYC ever. Lovell doesn't want a "stripper" act, and as Squatriglia says, "We love strip clubs, but we're not one."

Bella: Can bar-leaning be a recognized dance?

Kitty: I had to countrify my Irish clogging. They favored Cowtown over Riverdance.

Wondertwins activate: Admittedly, we went in fully aware that our bodies were not ideal and our skills in pouring a shot were limited. We were convinced that we'd be unwelcome. But no one was. Each girl brought in to make her impression on the whip-smart duo of Squatriglia and Lovell was encouraged to flaunt her individuality.

Bella: Despite any delusions of self-esteem, I feel my entrance owed more to my business card rather than any firm part of my anatomy.

Kitty: I may not go back to get a job, but damn it if I'm not going back to the gym. I favor the womanly jangling of bosoms to the jiggling of my pasty white thighs.

Revealing ourselves: We identified ourselves and our motive to Lovell, who responded with, "Well, damn, you were as close as anybody, at least with the clogging." She encouraged our return should we ever be looking for a second job. It was empowering, sure, but the real treat was watching these scads of women bend over backward (literally) to become Dallas' latest sex symbols.

Bella: The only thing my clogging was close to was other peoples' toes.

Kitty: I feel my most marketable skill was hopping up on the bar, swinging my gams over and hopping down without falling.

Sizing up the competition: If you were ever in doubt, yes, low-rise pants are in fashion. We wouldn't be surprised if Britney Spears is lying unconscious somewhere, her wardrobe pillaged by Coyote wannabes gathered at the Granada on Greenville Avenue. Oh well, as long as there is a Coyote Ugly, fringed halter tops will live on. But as Lovell says, "There's nothing belittling about feeling sexy and strong." It's just too bad we don't.

--Merritt Martin & Michelle Martinez

(No) More, (Not) Now, (Never) Again

This week, Simon & Schuster publishes in paperback former Dallas Morning News writer Elizabeth Wurtzel's 93rd book about her addiction to prescription drugs and Elizabeth Wurtzel, More, Now, Again. Of Wurtzel, author of the best-selling Prozac Nation, and her infatuation with Wurtzel there's nothing left to be said; she has long been her own best parodist. But in case there's one among you still interested in what Elizabeth Wurtzel has to say about Elizabeth Wurtzel, we have read the book for you and condensed it way down to its very best lines (line, fine--whatever).

I crush up my pills and snort them like dust. They drip through me like tupelo honey. My pills are methylphenidate hydrochloride, brand name Ritalin, but I will take Dexedrine or any other kind of prescription amphetamine that I can get. There are no human beings in this story. It would take me two hours to write one sentence. Addiction sneaks up on you like a sun shower. You don't know what I mean? All I ever wanted was to be good. And it's all turned out so bad. Here is how I feel not on drugs: I hate me. Ritalin über alles. I can't even focus on Vogue, I can't even focus on Mademoiselle. I am breathing heavily, like a dog panting on a hot day. I spend several days just snorting lines and thinking about the ignorant masses. The policeman cuffs me behind my back, and I start to cry. There's nothing worse than a sore throat. And there are plenty more sores on my legs, because the tweezing and pulling and digging do not stop. I cry about [Princess] Diana; I mourn. Finally, one day I tell Karl that I refuse to write any more explanations for my behavior unless he pays me for them. No coke and bad news are not a good combination. Just when I think I'm safe, like a kid who has not done his homework and whom the teacher has managed to ignore until five minutes before the bell rings, Bill Maher tried to engage me with a question about Amy Fisher. "That's why Prozac Nation is a great book." I tell them I wrote for The Dallas Morning News ten years ago, and I show them the Lucchese alligator-skin cowboy boots that I bought in Houston when I was last there. It is a dark, bleak vacuum cleaner of human hopelessness. Hank works his way down my body until he's--God, I wish there were a better way to say it besides eating me out or going down on me, but you get the idea. My life will flash before me, and it will all be white powder. I am on Rivera Live! two weeks in a row. Here's how the story begins. --Robert Wilonsky

Sack of Kittens

This week in Sack of Kittens: The Necro Tonz. Looks like? Not exactly a band you could call "refreshingly gimmick-free." The Necro Tonz are not only a lounge band--and people stopped doing that, what, five years ago?--they are also, apparently, a "dead" lounge band. Meaning? Plenty of grease paint and boot-black hair dye, along with matching monkey suits. Well, save for singer Necrophilia, Diva of the Dead (a.k.a. Colleen Bradford, the lady behind the late Buzzmonger 'zine), who prefers ball gowns and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? makeup. Sounds like? Welcome to Cocktail Hell, the title of the group's latest album, isn't just a clever name; it's a statement of absolute fact. Other than being "dead," the group does nothing to sharpen the long-dull lounge ax, mixing fey flutes and hotel-bar saxes until the whole thing is definitely not for the lactose intolerant. A mix of "originals" and emasculated covers (Black Sabbath's "Faeries Wear Boots," for one), Welcome to Cocktail Hell is about as much fun as a Holocaust documentary. And, by the way, if you decide to go with the dead lounge act thing and then cover "Girl From Ipanema," don't rename it "Ghoul From Ipanema." We've seen Rob Schneider movies that are less obvious. Other slightly less obvious song titles? "The Day Death Took a Bride," "Kill Me Now," "Fare Thee Well (And Go to Hell)," "Death, Don't Worry." OK, OK--you got the job. You don't have to keep applying. Pointless back story? The five members of The Necro Tonz were whacked by the Mob and buried outside of Vegas where, at some point, the radiation left over from circa-Cold War nuke tests brought them back to life and then they formed a band. As far as we're concerned, explaining the premise of your band is the same as explaining a joke. Number of kittens in the sack they're currently standing on? A dozen, but the whole thing smells so bad, there could be more. --Zac Crain

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