Meet the Band: Miss Alexandra Huntingdon (vocals), Theron Brown (piano), Dan Pappalardo (bass), Neil Chastain (drums)
Vocal Lessons: She began performing in opera and musical theater before settling on the nom de plume Miss Alexandra Huntingdon and hitting the Cleveland clubs. "Men, eating, drinking, shoes, fame, fortune, and metaphysics," make her list of interests. "Since I've been teaching musical lessons to teenagers, I couldn't perform in musical theater because I couldn't rehearse," she explains when asked about the persona's origins. Her friends at Pinch and Squeal, the local vaudeville troupe, asked her to put together a cabaret show, so she provided them with one that features mash-ups of cabaret songs and covers. "I started writing my own stuff and it's turned into this weird multi-faceted thing."
Queen of the Scene: A self-described "rust-belt glamour queen," Huntingdon describes her music as original songs with a retro-pop/cabaret sensibility. "I love to go see music in this town, but there's a lack of sparkle. I want to do something uncharacteristic. Every time I perform, I wear a huge costume with a vintage gown and huge eyelashes. This is performance. I shouldn't jump on stage in jeans and a T-shirt."
On Throwing Sandwiches: She's been known to toss sandwiches into the audience during live shows. "I'm always writing songs about the plight of being a curvy woman in a sea of skinny hipsters," she says. "My friend and I were having a lunch and talking about how good looking a waiter was. I wanted to give him a sandwich. That was the birth of a song. I started singing it at the Happy Dog where I toss hot dogs into the crowd."
Why You Should Hear Her: She recorded her new live album at Survival Kit Gallery in the 78th Street Studios. "Look Better Doin' It" is a rowdy piano-based sing-along that Huntingdon sends out to all those "skinny bitches." Gospel-flavored "When the Glamour is Gone" concludes with a righteous "Amen!" She describes "Sugar Mama Blues" as a song about dating "broke-ass boys." "It's the feeling of the material that's suited to a live album," she says when asked about the recording. "I have a song that's a sing-along. I can't imagine doing it in the studio with polished singers. I wanted to rent out Survival Kit and use the ticket proceeds to fund the cost of making the album. I wanted it to feel like an old Blue Note album. I'm really inspired by Judy Garland Live at Carnegie Hall. She just rambles between songs but in that rambling is something really personal and meaningful."
Where You Can Hear Her: facebook.com/MissAlexandraHuntingdon
Where You Can See Her: Miss Alexandra Huntingdon performs at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17, at the Bop Stop.