I've never thought of myself as a Martuni's kind of guy; sure, I like big strong drinks, but I don't like to pay $7-$8 for them, and I'm not usually into sitting around a piano and singing along to showtunes. However, Trauma Flintstone's Bijou variety show at Martuni's is always a great way to spend a Sunday evening, especially when folks like my friend J White are performing.
Bijou might best be thought of as a kind of gay cabaret, though plenty of folks in all varieties of gender and sexuality perform - I've seen drag queens sing Ethel Merman, tranny boys belt out folk tunes, and a Macedonian wedding song performed in duet by a lesbian couple of fifteen years. My friend Varian once performed a version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" entitled "Somewhere Up My Asshole," and J usually comes to perform on ukulele. This, however, is not your Dad's ukulele music, but something far more poignant and complex that requires extra-dimensional finger positions to perform. There are regulars who come out to show off their latest tune, many of whom make their living as professional performers but come to perform at Bijou for tips. When you add in two (or three, or four) of those killer Martuni's drinks, the overall atmosphere becomes one of fun and camaraderie, and if you're lucky, you'll get to do a singalong to Trauma's signature tune "Tittyfuck." After you've spent the weeknd trying to be supercool and sophisticated, wondering about where that next buzz is going to come from, Bijou is a great way to spend a Sunday evening with people who are sure to become your new friends, having a drink, a laugh, and a good sing-along.