Friday Fluff: Back to the new wave video future.

By | February 18, 2011

Debora Iyall ALSO knows what boys like.

So I pretty much skim Glee episodes on Hulu looking for Ashley Fink or Chris Colfer. I like the rest of the cast, I do, but their characters’ storylines either don’t interest me or lead to excessive eye-rolling. Luckily, Glee doesn’t need me to like it, as it’s doing fine on its own.

This week saw the first solo from the lady Zizes. Lauren sings The Waitresses’ “I Know What Boys Like”, which charted at #62 on the Billboard Hot 100 list in 1982. It’s a brilliant choice for Lauren, given the original’s deadpan delivery and self-assured swagger, to the extent that I now wonder if the character was specifically written to sing this song. Waitresses’ lead singer Patty Donahue had some legendary new wave sex appeal, so giving the song to Lauren is particularly conspicuous.

I’ve clipped the performance from Hulu below (again, sorry non-US readers, but it’s not on YouTube! Try googling? you can also watch it on YouTube if you’re not in the US). There’s a point early on where Lauren looks around and imagines everyone in their underwear; this is a reference to a conversation earlier in the episode, when Puck advised her to fend off solo jitters by doing just that. (Also, if anyone can point me at a gif of the “Sucker!” bit, I’d be mighty grateful. I’m sure this exists on Tumblr by now.)

Girlfriend can perform, am I right? While we’re on the subject of new wave badassery, I am seizing the opportunity to highlight one of my earliest fat idols, the magnificent Debora Iyall. Best known as the lead singer for Romeo Void, Iyall has style and bravado and some killer, killer pipes.

Finally, reigning queen of hotfatness Beth Ditto has a new video out for the single “I Wrote the Book”, off a collaborative EP with Simian Mobile Disco. There is voguing, and a “Justify My Love” vibe that I dig. EDIT: It was nice while it lasted, but the Beth Ditto video has been pulled by Sony. In its place, enjoy a second Romeo Void video:

EDIT: And the Beth Ditto video is back! I’ll be voguing in the privacy of my bedroom, if you need me.

Have a poppin’ fresh weekend, loves.


Kristin on February 18, 2011 at 11:59 am.

OMFG how did I not know that the lead singer of Romeo Void was a fat lady?

I LOVE Romeo Void. They are slightly before my time, but I went through a whole new wave/post punk phase in high school (late 90s for me) and I still listen to “Warm In Your Coat” like at least once a week.

Thank you so much for posting!


clownremover on February 18, 2011 at 12:13 pm.

I do love me some Romeo Void. I have that album somewhere in the vaults. I might have to fire up the old Victrola when I get home.


Bree on February 18, 2011 at 1:15 pm.

My favorite Romeo Void song is “A Girl In Trouble,” which I heard was banned by MTV back in the 80’s because the song is about getting an abortion. When you listen to it now and then listen to some of the current stuff that’s so in-your-face, it’s downright angelic.


Lesley on February 18, 2011 at 1:31 pm.

Since the Beth Ditto video was pulled, I just updated the post with the video for “A Girl in Trouble”. Love that song.


treeofjessie on February 18, 2011 at 2:14 pm.

aaaaaaaaaand here’s a youtube link 🙂


Lesley on February 18, 2011 at 2:17 pm.

YESSSS! Thank you. I’ll update with it now.


Miss Pink on February 18, 2011 at 3:43 pm.

I couldn’t agree with you more! Lauren and Kurt are my absolute favourite characters, along with Sue Sylvester and Coach Beiste. When an episode lacks any of them (as it tends to in order to focus on the oh-so-boring “main” characters such as Rachel and Finn) I feel my fingers twitch toward the channel changer.

As for the woman, the legend, the goddess known as Beth Ditto, here’s that video for you:
It is KILLER. I can’t wait for her new album!


Awlbiste on February 18, 2011 at 4:56 pm.

Looks like you can still get to “I Wrote the Book” if you go directly to her VEVO page:


Awlbiste on February 18, 2011 at 4:59 pm.

Whoops, if I had read all the comments I’d have seen the other link!


shyvixen on February 18, 2011 at 6:47 pm.

“I Know What Boys Like” is one of my all time faves as is “Never Say Never”. Thank you for posting these.


AcceptanceWoman on February 19, 2011 at 11:07 am.

Yep. Me too.


Holly on February 18, 2011 at 6:57 pm.

So is it breaking the fourth wall to admit that I was the one who commented on Formspring that they seem to have modeled Lauren’s style after yours? Because I stand by my position. Exhibit B: Tiered ruffle mini-dress. Extra credit: Layers for layers’ sake; oversized translucent frames.

I kind of hate Glee (mainly because I’m still bitter about Popular getting canceled 10 years ago), and have no vested interest in this being true. But in my little world it totally is.


Lesley on February 18, 2011 at 8:38 pm.

Ha! I was cleaning up files the other day and found the original screencap I took from that episode,, which I only watched because of your question on Formspring! So funny.

And I will admit the dress she wears above is AWFULLY similar to several of my own. Heh.


Erina on February 18, 2011 at 8:29 pm.

In additional to Lauren’s solo, there was another milestone – unless I missed it, I am pretty sure this was a food and candy-free episode for Lauren/Ashley.


thirtiesgirl on February 18, 2011 at 10:34 pm.

Love love love Romeo Void and Deborah Iyall. Another one of my favorite fat gal ’80s musicians is Vanessa Briscoe Hey from Athens, GA band Pylon. In Pylon’s very early years (when they were all about 19), Briscoe Hey was a bit smaller, but her voice was always a force to be reckoned with.

Here’s a clip of “Stop It (Rock&Roll No),” interspersed with rare interview clips of the band.

After being everyone’s favorite indie band for a brief period in the ’80s (REM loved them and covered Pylon’s song “Crazy” on Dead Letter Office), Pylon went on a long hiatus and eventually came together in 2007 when their original albums were re-issued. They embarked on a small US tour, and this is a clip of them performing “Danger” in Athens, GA. Briscoe Hey shows that she’s obviously still got it.


Kath on February 19, 2011 at 4:44 am.

Eeeeeeeeeee!! Ashley Fink absolutely owns that song. Plus, I want that damn dress she is wearing.


Willow on February 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm.

It is a bitchin dress, and she is rocking some great eyeshadow as well. She rocked that song, period.


Chutti on February 19, 2011 at 3:32 pm.

I am SO glad to see Deborah Iyall getting some bloggy respect lately, especially from de fatz.

It’s really interesting to me you related Romeo Void to The Waitresses; I actually saw them on the same bill in the 1980’s. And became much more of a fan of Deborah Iyall. My friend and I were having some issues with a violent jerk in the pit and I sort of had to take matters into my own hands with no support from security. She was really supportive and cool from stage without making a big deal out of it, and I will always love her for that.

Sounds like she is actually performing again and still doing great work as an art teacher. Yay!

All this talk on Glee may actually get me to watch more of it than you are posting here. I would sure like to see a fat girl rock her high school in a mainstream venue. This is coming from the fat singer who sang behind the scrim while the cheerleader girls lip synced in high school productions.

Yeah, ridiculous, I know.
It’s fun to see this actually discussed in public by real adults.


Willow on February 19, 2011 at 8:50 pm.

…They made you sing behind a crim and had cheerleaders lip-synch your singing?


To quote Scarlett O’Hara:
“I can’t even think of anything bad enough to call [them]!”


Willow on February 19, 2011 at 8:50 pm.

Er, scrim.


kimdog on February 19, 2011 at 11:00 pm.

Wasn’t Deborah Iyall a Fatshionista? I know she used to post on Big Fat Blog.


Lesley on February 20, 2011 at 9:50 am.

I was wondering that too — I thought she was, but I wasn’t sure if my memory was getting creative on me.


Debora Iyall on February 20, 2011 at 6:53 pm.

Thanks for all the props and memories! I really wanna share a stage someday with Beth Ditto : )

I love Fatshionista and now Two Whole Cakes. I am singing/performing again. Catch up with me on FB. Debora Iyall and/or Debora Iyall Music.


Lesley on February 22, 2011 at 7:53 pm.

Hi Debora! You are so completely awesome. Thanks for commenting. And damn, now that you’ve put the idea in my head I really wanna see you share a stage with Beth Ditto too!


Chutti on February 21, 2011 at 8:57 pm.

Wow- Deborah- don’t know if you were aware just how much of a role model you were way back when. Thanks again for just being so cool about a sticky situation and making me feel really at home. Glad to know you still rock, and will try to see one of your shows sometime!

As for the singing behind the scrim, yep, it sucked. I knew I had to have a recommendation from my high school music teacher for one of the colleges I was applying to, so I took a heavy amount of crap from him.
He also was more than happy to have me sing publicly in competition so we could win awards, but told me I could never be in the jazz performance group unless I lost weight.

yep-a prince of a guy. My high school was pretty weird, so I’m glad I figured out how to graduate quickly and get to college early!


Theresa on February 22, 2011 at 9:59 am.

Girl, don’t make me vougecharge you!

Do you think Beth Ditto would ever throw shade? I doubt it.


Erica G on March 6, 2011 at 1:27 am.

Wow, thanks for introducing me to Romeo Void!

You might want to put in a warning on that second vid – the dumbass veejay guy makes a bit of a fatphobic comment at the end that people could just skip. (Let me tell you, veejay dudebro, that girl looks like awesomesauce, and she can get into ALL KINDS of trouble.)


TheLadyDi on April 27, 2011 at 9:27 am.

I have to admit…I abhor Lauren Zizes as a character. She’s mean, crude, and nine times out of ten, a HORRIFIC dresser. I really, really wanted to like her – being the second fat girl on a TV show of the magnitude of Glee, but her attitude has just totally turned me off. Can we please get a fat, attractive, fashion-forward, balls-to-the-walls female character on a TV show who is not a total biyatch? Oy.


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