Twerking. Somewhere between the cult success of Big Freedia and Miley Cyrus’ mass-media appropriation, twerking became your child’s new favorite pastime. For the unfamiliar and uninitiated, the twerk is an aerobic, rump-centric dance move centered on making the fatty tissue of the ass bounce and jiggle to the beat of aptly named “bounce” music, a hyper-sexual, hyperactive hybrid of the dirty South’s urban flavors like trap, Miami bass and crunk.
There was perhaps no better litmus test for Music City’s twerk factor than Saturday night, when The Stone Fox featured an appearance by notable transgender bounce MC Katey Red. Moreover, the event ran simultaneously with “Shadynasty” — a monthly bounce DJ night hosted at East Side haunt Foobar — which no doubt separated Music City’s twerkoholic wheat from its trendier chaff.
Had The Spin paid closer attention to scheduling, we’d have clicked another choice in our Netflix queue before heading to the show — or maybe we would have headed to that PUJOL/OGG house show across town, where we heard that PUJOL was unveiling new material and youngsters were crowd-surfing through a living room. Rather, we arrived a record-setting three hours early. While waiting for the festivities to begin, The Spin patiently watched the thing swell from an awkward staring contest to a small but spirited dance party to a full-on, twerk-driven rager — the soundtrack for which was provided by a duo of guest DJs, Stone Fox proprietor Elise Tyler and actress Rachel Korine of Spring Breakers fame. The two swapped stations at regular intervals, providing the room with an endless stream of dirty Southern favorites and occasionally adorable dance moves.
By midnight, the Fox was overrun by a glorious parade of cross-dressed posteriors, where dudes looked like ladies and glutes glistened with shiny, skin-tight leggings and the shortest of shorts. The Stone Fox was hosting a “best dressed” and a “best dancer” contest, for which there was a $100 cash prize. Whether that was split between the two or awarded to each, we failed to gather. But hey, $100, right?
Just as we were about to forget why we came to this thing in the first place, the towering and fabulous Katey Red took to the stage, commanding roaring applause. Backed by two backup dancers (one being local cable access personality Courtney "La Conchita" Nuding) as well as DJ Elise (who stuck around to queue backing tracks), Red launched into a set of frenzied, turbo-charged tunes that got the room bouncing in record time. Glutes were wiggling, rumps were shaking, and Red's genre-specific calls were met with an overwhelming response. At one point, there very well may have been more dancers onstage than in the crowd.
Mind you, it wasn’t all butter. There were quite a few false starts when the wrong track was played, and things went from awkward to kind of awesome after technical difficulties forced the show into an involuntary intermission. Red cycled through crowd-hyping call-and-response routines and launched into some raw a cappella MC skills. The show got back on track just long enough for folks to work up another sweat, and that was all she wrote. While there were hiccups aplenty, when the kids wanna twerk, you’d best believe there’s no stopping them.