There aren't many things that will actually compel Nightranger to join the bumper-to-bumper bouts of Hollywood Boulevard on a Friday night, but a World of Wonder gallery opening is definitely one of them. The space has been an art party poptopia for a while now (see our write-up in last week's La Vida section), and the opening bash for its tribute to Andy Warhol, "Dead at 21," embodied the icon's androgynous spirit and infamously hedonistic social fervor. The show brought out a host of famous-for-their-fabulousness types including singer Ginger Coyote, dancer Selene Luna, video vamp Chris Crocker (in Britney drag, we think — his fame may be very Warholian, but the 15 minutes are way up, so we left him alone), Rock 'n' Roll High School principal/cult actress Mary Woronov (who read from her book about A.W.), hair-and-makeup mavens Danilo and Raja, designers for God Dollars, actor Daniel Franzese (who played bartender), Angus Oblong and Gidget Gein (both had pieces in the show), W.O.W. blogger/Andy-pal Stephen Saban, and original Factory-iteHolly Woodlawn, who was mobbed by white-wigged admirers in the main gallery and ended up spending most of her time in the graffiti-covered back room (not part of the show, but it was very Basquiat). Speaking of graff, we learned something new — and we should have known — about the Wonder building that night: Its basement used to house the legendary punk club The Masque and it's still covered in old FTW-ish scribbles!
As for the artwork above, it went way beyond the repetitive, color-blocked silk-screens Warhol's best known for, and included photography, video, sculpture (a piece evoking the pop icon made from found objects like plastic bananas, soup cans, film canisters and Velvet Underground CDs was brilliant) and the creation we were most obsessed with: a guest list from Studio 54 encased in glass. Well, it wasn't real (though with its most famous regulars typed in and the meticulously messy scribblings, cross-outs and name additions seen on real lists, it fooled a lot of people at the party). We figured out "The List," created by Norm Korpi (the not-so-token gay guy from the first season of MTV's The Real World), was fake after noting that Edie Sedgwick was listed. She died in '71, and the club debuted in '77. Upon further inspection we noticed that all the names crossed out — including Warhol's — were in fact deceased (John Lennon, Halston, Rock Hudson, Sonny Bono). The piece made us imagine 'em all dancing in Studio 54 heaven. A wonder-ful thought, no?
No celebs on the list later that night at Electric Fridays at Crimson a block down the boulevard,but there was a surprisingly cute glamster crowd. Not what we expected from the club — adjacent to bling-'n'-bottle-service boite Opera — on a Friday, but apparently this cool electro party hosted by trendy twosome Nick & Brick has been goin' off the past few months. The fedoras were flying, the beards were bumpin' and the miniskirts were swishing at this stylish Hollywood haunt, especially when guest DJ crew Villains got on the decks spinning their badass mix of old-school and neodisco. Love their Bloc Party and Daft Punk remixes. According to their MySpace, they're playing an underground loft party downtown this week (no info), but you can catch 'em for sure at Crash Mansion on February 17.
One in a Million
DJ Pube$ gets it right on his MySpace page when he says "Hipsters ain't nothin' but ex-ravers," but we'll go a step further and take the "ex" out. At this moment in time, hipsters are ravers. And nowhere was that more evident than at Club Giant's raging six-year-anniversary party at Vanguard last Saturday night. Steve Aoki headlined, and though he spins all around the world at this point, commanding this L.A. megaclub (on a milestone eve no less) was a huge turning point for the Dim Mak head. Haters are probably sick of hearing about the dude already, even in this very paper (Cobrasnake does take his pic a lot). The successful indie label, the hot clubs, the rich family — blah, blah, blah. The guy is savvy enough to know what we're gonna like even before we do. Deal with it.
We've been critical of the indie-rock and club-banger mock-'n'-mash mixes he's spun at Cinespace and various A-lister parties over the years ourselves, but on Saturday Aoki (who doesn't seem to be using the Kid Millionaire moniker anymore) validated himself, at least in our eyes, as a serious DJ on par with the dance-music biggies, pumping out bombastic bass builders and hypnotic tech grooves peppered with rock (Hendrix and Zeppelin) and old-school house hits (Robin S' "Show Me Love"). His set wasn't totally devoid of irony though; he threw in the intro to "Thriller" and he was wearing a Michael JacksonBad tee while sipping a bottle of Grey Goose. Still, he had the room — packed with clubsters of all ilks — goin' nuts. And that's all we're gonna say about him for a while, okay? As for the club itself, it's livelier than ever, especially with additional promoters like Mac Africa and Karma Entertainment hosting the VIP rooms.
And finally, Nightranger would like to send out congrats to the Blue Beat Lounge. We've seen countless club promotions go through the Knitting Factory over the years and only BB (held in the "Alter Knit" room) has managed to keep things jamming for five years. Chris Murray's reggae and ska soiree is always good times and the irie vibe was amplified when it took over the big room last Saturday with See Spot and The Equalizers. All the jovial grooving made the room rock — but we didn't see any rolling. The parking lot sure was pungent when we left, though.