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Lip Service 

Edited by Kateri Butler


Not since Madame Wong's circa 1978 have so many hipsters tooled around Chinatown looking for parking. The hip-hop dance club Firecracker ignited things a few years back, while Chun King Road has become the gallery groove du jour. Now DAVID A. KEEPS, journalist and former Details editor (when it was still good), is out to make Gin Ling Way a shopper's paradise with his art emporium SHOP CHUEY, which opened with two slam-bam bashes last week. The inaugural exhibit, "Niagaraland: New Works and Objets d'Art" (runs until August 1), features some 20 canvases and prints by sultry psycho-pop artiste NIAGARA (pictured), as well as a femme fatale­arama of funky furniture and smaller items like panties, towels and steel purses -- the bag with a syringe behind glass on one side and a hammer on the other prompted much discussion. Getting their wallets out were sexy surfer KELLY SLATER with gal pal LISA ANN CABASA, Soap Plant's BILLY SHIRE, Imperial Teens WILL SCHWARTZ (breakdancing out front!) and RODDY BOTTUM, pop tart KENNY SHARF, interior designer RON MEYERS, über-maven ANNIE FLANDERS, Greybull Press publisher ROMAN ALONSO, Star gossip JANET CHARLETON, lamp maker TONY MEREDITH, writers STEPHEN SABAN and BRENDAN MULLEN, Obey Giant's SHEPARD FAIREY, artists MIKE KELLEY and JIM SHAW, designers MICHAEL SCHMIDT and MONAH LI, and actresses LISA EDELSTEIN and ANN MAGNUSON with her fiancé, architect JOHN BERTRAM, who helped design the store. Actress LISA MARIE was a print come to life sitting pretty on a giant lip couch with the artist, sucking stogies and sipping cocktails, practically an advertisement for one of the hottest sellers that night, a tumbler with cigs 'n' lips inscribed, "The Smoking Bone's Connected to the Drinking Bone." Indeed.

--Lina Lecaro


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It was only a matter of time until someone opened a retro-burlesque lounge, and FORTY DEUCE delivers the goods. The brainchild of Deep's IVAN KANE, the Melrose Avenue club features a bar that doubles as a stage, where vintage lingerie-clad beauties bump and grind to a killer trio: bassist JOEY ALTRUDA, drummer WILLIE McNEIL and "Pink Panther Theme" sax player PLAS JOHNSON. The predominantly Westside crowd was eating it all up at the opening-night shindig -- the invitation promised "where it all stops just short of a raid," and it actually lived up to the hype -- although seasoned Hollywood hepcats complained about the DJ spinning hip-hop between sets. By midnight, thanks to the open bar, even that didn't matter. The moment former "Toledo Show" and current Deep dancer TRACY PHILLIPS started strutting her stuff on the bar, daintily picking her way among martini glasses and doing a full-on split without knocking over the garnish tray, all hell broke loose. As soon as she left the stage, three surfer guys jumped up from the audience and began dirty dancing while another guy, in a Hawaiian shirt and purloined boa, did headstands on the bar, and a screaming DEMI MOORE caught it all on videotape. Argentine diva CAROLINA caused howls from punk band MXPX and South Park creators TREY PARKER and MATT STONE, although the Velvet Hammer's JANET AUSTIN wasn't impressed: "Way too Miami," she sniffed. But after getting a load of Carolina's turbo-powered butt, Janet was so wowed that she spilled her cocktail all over artist NATASHA VETLUGIN as well as her own rhinestone Lakers T-shirt. At one point, there were at least five separate impromptu lap dances being performed on the bar and on top of tables by audience members -- by last call a number of revelers were passed out cold, and one girl had to be carried out. After the bar closed, the fun continued on the sidewalk, with two young studs showing off their assets to anyone who'd look. A good time was had by all -- at least until the next morning.

--Pleasant Gehman


As expected, there were plenty of big boobs, teased tresses and furry cowboy hats to be seen at the mega-metal mash featuring POISON, CINDERELLA, WINGER and FASTER PUSSYCAT at UNIVERSAL AMPHITHEATER. Surprisingly, it wasn't as much of a tacky time warp as anticipated, especially backstage, where cool cuties such as the Pretty Ugly Club's J.D., COYOTE SHIVERS, TEXAS TERRI and Big Balls singer VINNI STILETTO came out to support their Pussycat pals, who ended up being a little difficult to find. Word was the band's tour bus became a makeshift piercing parlor with a steady flow of ladies getting, uh, punctured throughout the eve. Evidently, the gloomy industrial beat­niks, who went on at 6:15 p.m., were merely trying to stay occupied, since they weren't allowed to pack up their gear until all the other acts had finished. Cinderella worked an Aerosmith vibe, while Poison didn't disappoint fans with their poppy headbanger tunes, the most entertaining of which was C.C. DeVILLE's "I Hate Every Bone in Your Body but Mine." Just when we started to think the old-school hesher crowd was kinda charming, some sweaty guy started laying some dangerous air-guitar licks too close for comfort. We retreated to the backstage area, where amid all the massive manes, we spotted the neatly shorn MICHAEL ROSENBAUM, of Smallville, who kindly saved us from taking a tumble down the stairs, brought on, no doubt, by sniffing too much Aqua Net. Who would've thought Lex Luthor had a heroic side?

--Lina Lecaro

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