Sabretooth-Blackwidow-by-Erin-StarkTHE END OF AN ERA, THE BEGINNING OF ANOTHER

I spoke with Holly Von Sinn and Jay Higgs of dude rock band Sabretooth Blackwidow about their upcoming collaborative show at Filthy McNasty’s on October 9th.

This is a special edition of Sinners Freaks and Geeks, Von Sinn’s weekly Thursday burlesque night that she has been putting on for almost a year. “The show normally consists of five to six performers doing solos and sometimes people collaborate on duets and group numbers,” says Von Sinn. Following the burlesque performances, there will be some Bearlesque, Sabretooth Blackwidow’s last show ever: the death of Sabretooth.

Von Sinn explains how she got into burlesque in the first place: “I was sick of indecent exposure tickets, so when I got the chance, I took it to the stage and a D-list (at best) star was born.”

In addition to being a burlesque performer and the organizer of Sinners, Freaks and Geeks, she is the vice president of the first annual Edmonton Burlesque Festival. “People should expect to see the best burlesque this city has ever seen. The shows will range from the sublime to the classic, from sexy to funny and everything in between. We have performers coming in from all over North America as well as local talent,” notes Von Sinn.

Higgs is stoked to be collaborating with Holly for Sabretooth’s last show: “Sabretooth is such a performance-oriented group. Usually by the end of the sets, I’m in my underwear anyways. I thought burlesque and us go well together.” The dancers will open the night, and Sabretooth’s last set will close.

Sabretooth began as a joke created by some buddies who worked together at a Long and McQuade, including Jay Christian Higgs, a.k.a. Beast Machine/Professor Fuckyeah, on vocals, Mark Wojcicki, a.k.a. El Mulletor, on lead bass, Robin Fehr, a.k.a. Fehreinheight, on guitar, Kenny Martin, a.k.a. Kevin, on eight-string guitar, and Caleb Caswell, a.k.a. Mr. Moneysign, as the hype man/manager. For their last show, a mystery drummer will be joining these dudes.

At the store, conversations about the hypothetical funniest band name ever and characters that would play in this fictional band ensued. Someone came up with the name Sabretooth Blackwidow, Fehr started writing music, and the rest is, well, dude rock.

The band is known for their crazy stage antics. Their past shows have featured costumes, Jell-O and panty cannons, song lyrics about wrestling and monster trucks, treat bags with candy and condoms on Valentine’s Day and sandwich ingredients being thrown at a crowd “who was not hungry for rock.”

Expect to view an exorcism along with some surprises at their last gig. “We really did this to bring the artistic aspect back to rock and roll. I feel the artistic side is dead these days. People just want to play their music perfectly and they don’t really want crowd involvement. You don’t really go to see a show anymore; you just go to see a couple bands play. We wanted to make it into a theatrical experience,” explains Higgs.

The time has come to call it quits for these guys. Some members are working on other projects. Higgs is in a new band, called Borrachera. Wojcicki plays in Most of August. Caswell’s band, Black Stone, has a CD release coming up.

You don’t want to miss this show. “This is going to be a celebration. The way a funeral should be!” exclaims Higgs. “Two years is a long long punch line for a joke.”

Check out Sinners, Freaks and Geeks with Sabretooth Blackwidow on October 10th at Filthy McNasty’s. The First Annual Edmonton Burlesque Festival runs October 17-20 with shows at Yellowhead Brewery and the Pawn Shop, and after-parties at Filthy McNasty’s.

By Jenna Lee Williams
Photo: Erin Stark

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