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Nightranger 

Thursday, Aug 18 2005
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If the van’s a-rockin’...

Just what Hollywood needs, another mega-club . . . That’s what we thought when we started hearing the hype on The Vanguard. But the beautiful new 21,000-square-foot danceteria, formerly called Qtopia, is hard to knock. Tuesday night, the remodeled spot celebrated its official grand opening (even though promoters like Marques Wyatt and Danny B. have been throwing dance parties there for months now) with a bash featuring VHS or Beta onstage and Jason Bentley on the decks. The room’s got a Studio 54–ish vibe with great lighting and the requisite giant disco ball, but revelers — including a slew of journos and musical types like The Blood Arm, The Vacation, Afghan Wigs Greg Dulli, Junior Senior’s Jeppe, Toledo from The Toledo Show and The Crystal Method’s Ken Jordan (who’ll celebrate his birthday at the club Friday, August 26) — seemed to prefer the tropical outdoor patio. Here, rain curtains, palm trees and a giant Buddha (shockingly, nobody stole the good-luck $ at his feet!) offered Zen-like décor, though the chatty atmosphere was anything but. The next night, the outfits did all the talkin’ when Club Party Monster took over the venue with its clowny club-kid decadence. We hung with Disco Bloodbath author/Party Monster movie consultant James St. James (Seth Green did him no justice!) and club promoter/actor Sham (both sporting reverse club-kid drag — i.e., normal clothes) in what we thought was the roped-off VIP section, but was actually the drinking section. Cocktails were off-limits everywhere else in the club that night for some reason, which didn’t seem to bother the X-cessively made-up mavens who bumped to Latin throbber DJ Keoki and sonic train-wreckers Punk Bunny. Outside, Holly Lovecat (of last year’s headliners Mynx) replaced glitter gloss with hippie garb and an acoustic guitar, offering a performance-art-esque show for the kids in line with ditties like “We’re So Last Year” and “The ’60s Are Back” while the de rigueur cameras captured it all. That shtick might be more appropriate at The Brian Jonestown Massacre show Thursday (August 18). Midnight munchies

The legendary cross-dresser party Dragstrip 66 took its Caligula-themed bacchanal to the Ramada’s 1160 Lounge last Saturday, and we hear the togas were fierce! From queens to Prince: We stuck it out til 3:30 a.m. at the Key Club last Wednesday in hopes of seeing the Artist, who was rumored to deliver a surprise set at the Sugar Water Festival After Party with Erykah Badu. Alas, the crimson one (he wore all red, not purple) never left his upstairs booth, though Badu, Queen Latifah, Sheila E. and Wendy & Lisa did jam on it while Usher, Entourage’s Jeremy Piven, Chingy and Jill Scott watched. Talk about a sweet late-night snack.

Reach the writer at llecaro@laweekly.com

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