“Does Claude Even Eat Ass?” read a dinky cardboard sign. Teehee, genius. This Monaco69 promo girl kept hard seltzer samples a-flowin’, and I aspired to get buzzed without spending $10 for a Red Razz Berry cocktail.
Arriving at The Birdhouse Festival around 3 p.m.—a solid decision. For once in my life, I could sit down on a porta-potty and not sweat the small stuff like the real possibility of contracting a venereal disease; there was a handsome amount of lavatories, each one glistened like Mr. Clean.
Newport Beach baddie VNSSA, notorious for her disgustingly catchy collaborations with Walker & Royce, such as “WORD” and “Rave Grave,” slayed the stage while three Chicago footwork extraordinaire were wilding out.
“Excuse me. Maybe this is a stupid question, but who’s that?” This REAL adult pointed in Barclay Crenshaw/Claude VonStroke’s direction; he was enveloped in unadulterated love—posing for his fans’ ‘grams. I reassured him, “No worries. That’s the boss man. If you’re new to this, how would you know what Claude looked like?” He politely corrected me, “I’m here for Paul Johnson. Back in the day, we would go to illegal raves on the southside or in Cicero to see him play.” Silly me: talk about an original Dirtybird.
In layman’s terms, Paul Leighton Johnson’s influence is so widespread that Daft Punk cited Johnson on their 1997 tune “Teachers.” The Ballistic Swing carnival ride view was almost as majestic as Johnson’s Mitchell & Ness All-Over Eastern tee.
Sadly, I left before Walker & Royce performed because these Lake Michigan mosquitos were eating me alive. Ironically, my sensitive stomach was rumbling. There were two food trucks but zero lighter fare– just tacos and fried chicken.
All in all, The Birdhouse Festival has always been just as much about the sexy-ass, open-hearted souls Chicago house attracts as it is about the music—I have five new Facebook friends to prove it.