Fittingly, so-called “glam rapper” Mickey Avalon made his first media appearance on MTV Cribs alongside fellow can’t-tell-if-they’re-serious-or-not white rapper Simon Rex (aka Dirt Nasty). It was Rex who would help launch Avalon’s musical career after the two first began writing verses for laughs while Avalon crashed on Rex’s couch.
The licentious whimsy with which Avalon delivers verses about his Sunset Strip exploits is the key to his ethos. Avalon (born Yeshe Perl) is a slightly built, long-haired grandson of Auschwitz survivors, who lost his father to a drunk-driving accident in the weeks following his release from a drug rehab program (his admittance into which was made possible after months of careful supervision from Avalon himself). Subsequent personal battles with heroin and prostitution thusly provided Perl with a surplus of lyrical content, which he channeled into his tattooed and often nude Mickey Avalon character. A personification of the mid-aughts cocaine-chic scene ruled by early Internet celebrities like Paris Hilton and the guy from Entourage, Avalon fashioned himself as part party kid, part Hollywood outsider musician.
In 2014, Avalon’s audience remains diverse. Efforts to save himself, either by starting a family in Oregon or by becoming an Orthodox Jew, both proved fruitless, though one has to wonder how the (relative) stability of a touring and performance circuit has affected the troubled emcee. He still invites dancers onstage and still sports a Marilyn Manson-esque admiral hat while spitting verses from the stages of the same small clubs he was performing in five years ago. This Friday, May 30, Avalon returns to Velvet Jones (423 State St.) with S.B. band The Fire Department and SoCal rockers Good Deeds. The 21+ show starts at 8 p.m. Call (805) 965-8676 or visit velvet-jones.com for tickets and info.