A man and his cheese


POSTED: Friday, February 13, 2009

Richard Cheese knows a few things about business—for the right amount of money he'll sing your name in a song on his next album—but America's king of the tiger-striped tuxedo isn't just trying to sell tickets when he says that Friday's show at Pipeline is Honolulu's last chance to see Richard Cheese & Lounge Against The Machine.





        On Stage: 7:15 p.m. Friday

Place: Pipeline Cafe, 805 Pohukaina St.


Tickets: $25, $30 reserved and $65 VIP “;meet and greet”; with Dick


Call: 589-1999 or visit www.ticketmaster.com




“;We've been working together for a long time, and we all sort of want to go in different directions,”; Cheese said, the epitome of cocktail lounge sincerity, via telephone earlier this week.

It's been four years since Cheese and the band, which back then consisted of Bobby Ricotta (piano), Gordon Brie (bass) and Buddy Gouda (drums), rocked the Wave Waikiki with smooth “;swankified”; lounge arrangements of songs by such acts as Slayer, Snoop Dogg, Puddle of Mudd, White Zombie, Sir Mix-A-Lot and Coldplay.

Cheese spent much of the show serenading the wall-to-wall crowd while standing on the bar.

With the band wrapping up its farewell “;Martini Hero”; tour, Ricotta and current drummer Frank Feta will be joined by a suitably talented local bassist at the venue this weekend.

“;(Frank and Bobby) are so good—forget me. Forget my tuxedos. Come see this amazing swing band. I have difficulty doing the show because I just want to listen, and that's the honest truth.”;

It has been a good long run for the group that surfaced with the eponymous “;Rage Against the Machine”; in 2000 and followed up with “;Tuxicity,”; “;I'd Like A Virgin”; and “;Aperitif for Destruction,”; each with a cover spoofing a well-known hit album. The act went seasonal in 2006 with a cocktail Christmas album aptly titled “;Silent Nightclub.”;

“;We haven't played Honolulu since 2004, so almost everything is going to be new (since then),”; Cheese promises. “;Our newest CD is called 'Viva La Vodka,' and there are a bunch of great new songs on there that we're going to be doing.”;

DON'T BLAME CHEESE if some of titles may not be printable here. He doesn't tell American lyricists what to write, and the juxtaposition of their four-letter lyrics and his smooth traditional pop music arrangements is part of the appeal.

Cheese fans can probably anticipate which song by Buckcherry he'll be singing at Pipeline. He'll also be doing at least one song by Grammy Award-winning Lil Wayne, a “;beautiful love song”; by the Pussycat Dolls, as well as the romantic stylings of AC/DC and Radiohead.

“;I'm also doing a special song about Foodland, the grocery store chain, just for Honolulu ... that's an exclusive. We don't do that anywhere else.”;

Debuting at Pipeline will be a special made-to-order Hawaiian hibiscus print tuxedo that Cheese will don. Traditionalists will look forward to the familiar gold tiger-stripe jacket, but Cheese likes to make several costume changes during a show.

As for the future, Cheese's upcoming album will list the names of members of his Richard Cheese Super Fan Fun Club and include the same on a song (visit http://www.richardcheese.com). He's also looking forward to introducing a new form of trans-genre music with the album “;Lavapalooza.”;

“;It's all lounge, exotica tiki versions of rock and rap songs. We're taking great songs and doing them in a different lounge style, and because I love Hawaii so much I wanted to do an album that sort of pays tribute to the vintage Hawaiian music of the 40s and 50s.”;

Among the artists whose songs will be included: Guns N' Roses, Coolio, the Go-Gos and Weezer.