PEAS ON EARTH
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What the hell are you looking at? The Alliance's Shane Powers, Josh Richman and Hartwell.
The music biz may be in the crapper, but you wouldn't know it by the ridiculous red-carpeted revelry that enveloped Los Angeles last week. Yes, the S factor (soirees, suites, suits, sluts in sequins) was in full effect, thanks to a slew of Grammy Week parties, and the usual pre-awards bonanza of boozin' and schmoozin' will have us popping the Ibuprofen for days to come. How anybody ever makes it to the actual awards show, photo-ready no less, is beyond us, though surely all the free spa services provided by gifting events like InStyle's Smashbox greed fest help. We got none of it, not that it mattered — our seat at Staples Center was far away from the cameras and the stars anyway.
In person, Kanye made us cry and the Love performers gave us (another) flashback, but we'll refrain from wasting space on the actual show, which you've surely already forwarded through on your DVR by now. Let's get to the juicy/juiced-up stuff: the bashes that vied for social supremacy — and boldfaced names — seemingly all week. Even the golden glow of fame can't help the Chosen Ones be three places at once, though, and party hopping most assuredly meant missing something good. Most of the action took place in close vicinity, on Thursday at least, when Fuse TV hosted a bash at The Alliance's coveted Thursday club night at Goa, while The Black Eyed Peas pumped it up at their annual Peapod Benefit with guests Courtney Love and Slash at Avalon, Rihanna shook it at Boulevard 3 for InStyle, and DJ AM, Grandmaster Flash and Macy Gray offered a "turntable symphony" for the Nicole Khristine Jewelry launch at the adjacent Social nightclub.
Click here for more of Lina Lecaro's Nightranger photos.
MAROONED AT GOA
Since the crunch at the door can be quite cacophonous, we opted for Goa first. The party featured Fallout Boy's Pete Wentz and squeeze Ashlee Simpson on the decks (sounds: new wave and hip-hop) and a live miniset from Panic at the Disco, who left the theatrics at home and went for a gritty feel, even tackling the Band's "The Weight" (the "take a load off" song) with some success. We could fill this entire page with all the famous faces there, but instead we'll just comment on the two doppelgangers standing behind us during the show: Maroon 5's Adam Levine and actor Shane West (dark hair, light eyes, tiny heads). On the other end of the stud spectrum, David Beckham was apparently sighted hanging by the stage, but sprinted in a hurry after the show. We attempted to make our own harried jaunt over to Social, but when you're cruising Cahuenga — especially on foot — that can be a challenge. Forgetting about Grammy glam-o-ramas for a moment, we bopped into The Burgundy Room for a quickie visit with doorman Torrance and DJ Apollo Staar, and popped into Kung Pao Kitty, where Viper Room gatekeeper Casper was deejaying (he's also there every Saturday night). Wentz should take a lesson from these two. They rawk hard!
Over on Sunset, our attempt at crashing the Blvd. 3 bash (and scoring the 20-pound goody bag) was fruitless, as swag hoarders left immediately following Rihanna (for the next party, probably), and security declared it dead just after midnight. We also missed the symphonic experience promised at Social, but DJ AM did have the floor on fire when we arrived. Apparently, the scene outside was just as fiery. Actor Jesse Metcalfe — who'll always be the original Miguel from the soap Passions to us — got in a tabloid-ready tumble. Twice. Talk about desperate.
SNUBBED AT THE ROPE
Friday night's People magazine–Verizon event at Avalon was a stellar affair as expected, with Timbaland holding court onstage, presenting an array of artists, including Flo-Rida, Paramore, Taylor Swift and (if ya stayed till 1:30 a.m.) Chris Cornell. But the real show was up in the side balconies, where two of Hollywood's most overexposed attention whores (from now on, if we must mention 'em, they'll be dubbed "Lo-ca" and "Air-ess") had a veritable dance-off, wigglin' their bits on their respective right- and left-side perches for us transfixed rubberneckers below. We left before Timby's much-reported tirade about some of his "homeboys not gettin' in," but our time in front of the notorious door at Teddy's later that night kinda had us feeling his pain.
There are few things more demoralizing that being snubbed at the velvet ropes, and admittedly our press connections make that a rarity. But it does happen, and Friday we toughed it out with throngs of late-arriving trendsters at Mark Ronson's Roosevelt bash, which saw the producer perform in the hotel's Blossom Room, preceded by Kenna (love him!). After a long wait, we did finally make it into the after-party at Ted's, where Mark's sis Samantha Ronson spun for the likes of Rumer Willis and Anthony Kiedis, and the room's great vibe — luxe but definitely loose — almost made up for the pushy peep pileup outside.
Scoop from other shindigs: Kiss 'n' Grind at Crash Mansion brought out Prince, among others, Friday, while the always-late-groovin' Roots Jam at Key Club saw Seal, Travis Barker and American Idol's Blake Lewis funk till dawn with the hip-hop band to benefit Rock the Vote Saturday. For those with any mojo left, after-bashes ranged from excessive (Entertainment Weekly's Kanye cutup at the new eatery STK, Usher's happy ending at Geisha House and record-label loungers like WB's Vibiana event) to truly exciting (Club Giant's dance mash at Elevate downtown with Shiny Toy Guns' Jeremy Dawson, and the Americana Music Association's Sin City All-Star Jam across town at The Mint, where 82-year-old nominee Charlie Louvin rocked onstage with winner Jim Lauderdale and multiple nominee Lucinda Williams. And we thought Jerry Lee Lewis was a spitfire.