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Wax On, Wax Off 

Car wash, yeah; pole-dancing queen; photo Zone at Drkrm

Wednesday, Jul 16 2008
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The oft-used fantasy image of half-naked babes soaping up their headlights in the car wash might be all wet at this point (Paris H. and Jessica Simpleson have done it, after all) but we gotta admit we were a bit disappointed that there weren’t any such sights — or washin’ of any kind goin’ on, for that matter — at Squeak E. Clean’s SUDS event Friday night at the Hollywood Car Wash on Sunset. (Don’t think our wheels have had a good rinsin’ since Coachella! Yuck.) The event, held across the street from the Gower Gulch, was still quite the riotous rubdown though. Music producer-DJ Squeak (a.k.a. Sam Spiegel) has been hosting his annual bash for four years now, and its car-sponsor-appropriate setting (Scion hosted it in the past and Antics from Toyota were onboard this time out) did allow for a cruise through the wash, rinse and wax cycles — in one of their cars, of course. Instead of water and foam, it was made into a trippy tunnel-of-love-type ride with video visuals by Aaron Rose. In truth, it was pretty anticlimactic (our tips for next time: lasers and bubble machines!), but we hear some partiers brought their own fun to the roll by smoking/making out inside.

Lina Lecaro

(Click to enlarge)

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Jane Wagner, Lily Tomlin and Paul Zone celebrate the NYC underground at Drkrm Gallery.

Lina Lecaro

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Squeak E. Clean does SUDS in Hollywood.

Lina Lecaro

(Click to enlarge)

Next stop, the Olympics: At the Pole $tar Invitational, a perfect 10

DJs included Switch, Tittsworth and DJ Pube$, but the man of the midnight hour was Mr. Clean, who not only has a way with the wax, but is an accomplished producer (Yeah Yeah Yeahs’Show Your Bones), composer (tons of commercials for the likes of Nike, Levi’s and Toyota) and creative director (he worked on Kanye West’s Star Wars–y Glow in the Dark tour). During the party, the host — who has totally stepped out of his bro Spike Jonze’s shadow — posed for us in front of various car-wash signs and we even took over the Got2B hair-product-sponsored photo-booth by Rony Alwin (another busy boy, what with all his mag covers and his sassy www.bad-kittys.com site ... way hotter than Suicide Girls if ya ask us!). Clean also spilled about his unbelievable new project, N.A.S.A., an all-star supercollab record featuring Ol’ Dirty Bastard (in his last recording), Karen O, David Byrne, George Clinton, Tom Waits, M.I.A., Chuck D, KRS-One, De La Soul, Spank Rock, Sean Lennon and a bunch more luminaries lending vox to North American– and South American–inspired grooves from him and DJ Zegon, due out end of the year. (We see Mark Ronson–like Grammy recognition in this dude’s future ...) Check out Squeak E., and we’re guessing Alwin too (if not, somebody’s gotta have the obligatory photo booth) at what’s sure to be the ultimate clusterfug of Day-Glo Ray-Ban clans: the Hard Music Festival this Saturday.


THAT’S HOW THEY POLE

Hard headliners N*E*R*D are one of a few groups we love in spite of ourselves, and this includes their slimier numbers like the strip-club anthem “Lap Dance” too. (Pharrell’s beats are like crack or something.) Still, we weren’t exactly feelin’ it when the song’s voracious vibe came to life at Club Element last Sunday for the first annual Pole $tar Invitational competition.Ten dancers vied for a $10,000 prize from X-Polesitions (a new pole-dancing studio in North Hollywood), and two of ’em happened to be Nightranger gal-pals from Jumbo’s Clown Room.Though the event’s intention was to take pole dancing out of the strip club so it could be viewed as the athletic activity it truly is, it was tough at times to see it that way, what with the weave ’n’ cleavage quotient and drunken Ed Hardy–clad blingers, bangers and ballers who seemed to think they were in a hip-hop video. Ray J (of Kim Kardashian sex-tape fame) and Coolio were in the house and even took the stage to sing over the rap jams at one point. Amid the humpin’ hoopla, we kept our attention on the pole, and we were actually impressed by the strength and stamina of these ladies, whose bodies and twirling feats brought to mind Olympic gymnasts. We’d like to see the summer games’ gold-medal hopefuls do some of this stuff — in 6-inch heels, no less. Despite amazing poses, props and personality, Jumbo’s cutie pie Blue got first runner-up, and the grand prize went to the pole-rattling dynamo named Spider,whose finale stunt included a duet of sorts with another sista doing turns and flips that gave new meaning to the term “girl-on-girl.” The event may have been chaotic and a bit disorganized, but we were so seduced by the power of the pole, we’re thinking about taking a spin or two at X-Polesitions ourselves. Whoo-hoo ...


BEFORE THE BLANK GENERATION

From polesters to punkers — or, rather, prepunkers — we close this column with a raving recommendation for seminal NYC scenester/musician Paul Zone’s photo exhibit The New York Underground Scene: 1972-1977, at Drkrm Gallery, running through August 31.The show features never-before-seen candids and stage shots of everyone from Debbie Harry and Joey Ramone to David Johanson, and it’s special not only because it captures a historic time in music, but also because the shots are from the perspective of a friend and a peer, not a photojournalist. “I’m not a professional,” Zone told us at the packed opening reception Saturday night, where pals such as Lily Tomlin, Debi Mazar and Taylor Negron came out to support. “I just thought it would be nice for people to see a personal side of the scene from the inside.” Zone was definitely on the inside, going to seminal N.Y. shows with his older brothers when he was just a kid and shooting ’em with his “Brownie camera” and later joining his bro’s band The Fast and helping Blondie create their look (he cut Deb’s hair) and even sound (introducing the band to keyboardist Jimmy Destri). Zone told us this and more at the party, and now that he’s working on a book showcasing even more shots and anecdotes, everyone will get to hear his behind-the-scenes Big Apple rock bites. Take our word for it, some of ’em are really juicy too.

Reach the writer at llecaro@laweekly.com

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