David Johansen's Altered Ego

Band: Buster Poindexter & His Banshees of Blue.

Personnel: Buster Poindexter, vocals; Charles Giordano, piano, organ; Tony Machine, drums; Brian Koonin, guitar, sitar, banjo, mandolin; Tony (Antoine Fats) Garnier, bass; Fred Wolcott, percussion; Crispin Coe, sax; Bob Funk, trombone; Hollywood Paul Litteral, trumpet; Soozie Tyrell, vocals.

History: Any resemblance between Buster Poindexter and David Johansen, the man who founded the iconoclastic pioneers of trash-glam, the New York Dolls, is more than coincidental. They are indeed one and the same flesh--though Johansen's current alter ego has definitely taken on a life of its own. With his solo rock career foundering three years ago, Johansen, with pianist Joe Delia, started doing off-the-cuff R&B;/jazz sets at an intimate New York nitery, Tramps. Gradually the other Banshees of Blue fell into place, and two years ago the band took up a weekly residency at the Bottom Line, becoming the longest-running show at the club since the '60s. Poindexter (who's also been visible lately in several magazines as a mascot for Amaretto liqueur) recently had his debut album released on RCA.

Sound: A drinking man's (and woman's) music performed by a drinking music's man. From gut-bucket R&B; to boppin' swing to tropical rock to a straightforward version of "House of the Rising Sun," Poindexter's revue covers a lot of ground. A good-natured cartoon of pseudo-sophistication, Poindexter sounds like a cross between the great Louises (Jordan and Armstrong). Of course, those aware of Poindexter/Johansen's past as the leader of one of the riotous rock 'n' roll bands of all time may think he's doing a bit of desperate career maneuvering, but this sound is so joyous and silly that only a misanthrope could begrudge this man and his audience their fun.

Shows: Tuesday and Wednesday at the Roxy; next Sunday at the Coach House.

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