Mickey Avalon

Featuring Andre Legacy & Dirt Nasty, with Uncle Scratch's Gospel Revival and DJ Ceven. Saturday, March 10, at the Grog Shop.

The dude poses on the cover of his self-titled debut like a character from an early Gus Van Sant flick captured by the late Helmut Newton; the image brings to mind the boy toy of some wealthy disco habitué. It also illustrates the tale presented in his bio -- a former Hollywood male prostitute and junkie turned shock-jock MC. His shaggy hair and Robert Plant stance may suggest novelty rap, but Avalon's just as real as any rapper who spins outrageous tales of sexual conquest and hustling johns; he flows in a monotone style more like Mase than Beck.

An appropriate accompaniment to his American gigolo persona, most of the music on the disc sounds like Giorgio Moroder's back catalog. It even makes sense that Avalon would empathize with Los Angeles' other hustler king, Snoop Dogg, to whom he seems to pay tribute on "Hustler Hall of Fame." To top it off, Avalon has a reputation for delivering a lewd, entertaining live performance.